Matthew Bourne’s gothic sizzler of a Sleeping Beauty is, at heart, a cautionary tale. A childless king and queen seek the help of a Dark Fairy, who procures a baby for them.
(How, we do not know. And once we set eyes on this Carabosse – portrayed by the formidable Adam Maskell in a stiffly boned Victorian gown, his murderous eyes masked with kohl, his shoulders sprouting eagle wings – we daren’t ask.)
The royal couple forget to express their gratitude.
This failure to write a thank-you note sets in motion a harrowing sequence of events involving vampires, betrayals, abduction, a virgin sacrifice, a lawn party on the grounds of Downton Abbey, and blessed Tchaikovsky blasted at a decibel level normally reserved for Led Zeppelin.