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Birmingham Royal Ballet's thrilling Coppelia

Entertainment | Published:

Coppelia

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Birmingham Hippodrome

review by Andy Richardson

The audience at Birmingham Hippodrome for Birmingham Royal Ballet's new production at Coppelia were privileged indeed.

The city regularly plays hosts to star performers from across the UK, with nationall-renowned actors, comedians and musicians taking the stage.

But the BRB's present cast take this much-loved fantasy beyond normal boundaries with a truly world class production that could comfortably grace the stage of any theatre or concert hall in the world.

Coppelia is a fantasy story that has much humour, romance and fun throughout. Played out across three acts, it was choreographed with great verve and wit by Marius Petipa.

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The principle members were all thrilling: Elisha Willis was a graceful and poetic Swanilda, Matthew Lawrence was a musclar and energetic Franz while the skillful David Morse was an irreverant and mischievous Dr Coppelius.

The crew, however, were just as important as the cast. An incredible set, that looked like a renaissance painting, and phenomenal costumes added to the enjoyment. The Royal Ballet Sinfonia were also in imperious form, playing Delibes score with a lightness of touch and instinctive understanding under the baton of conductor Koen Kessels.

The acts were perfectly matched and transported the audience. Act 1 set the tone by establishing the narrative, Act 2 was a thrilling and magical delight while Act 3 featured virtuositic dances from Willis, Lawrence and the supporting dancers.

Coppelia continues until June 18 - it's a perfect 10, you'd be a fool to miss it.

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