Matthew Bourne’s legendary staging of Swan Lake, with its all-male corps of swans, will return this year to Sadler’s Wells, where it was first seen in 1995. The limited Christmas season will run from 14 December 2006 (preview 13 December) to 21 January 2007.

For 15 years, Bourne was best known, with producer Katharine Dore, as one half of the renowned Adventures in Motion Pictures (AMP) whose much-lauded works included the original mountings of his Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Cinderella, The Car Man and others. In August 2001, Bourne announced his solo outfit, New Adventures, which in addition to new airings for Swan Lake and Nutcracker!, premiered Bourne's Edward Scissorhands and his double Olivier Award-winning Play Without Words.

Independent of his dance company, Bourne has found award-winning success choreographing musicals including Children of Eden, Oliver!, My Fair Lady, South Pacific and, currently in the West End, Mary Poppins (which he also co-directed with Richard Eyre).

Swan Lake premiered at Sadler's Wells in 1995 before becoming the longest running ballet in both the West End and on Broadway, where it won three Tony Awards (Best Director of a Musical and Best Choreographer for Bourne and Best Costume Design for Lez Brotherston). Its many other prizes include a South Bank Show award and an Olivier for Best New Dance Production. It was last seen in London two Christmases ago with a tenth anniversary return to Sadler’s Wells.

The new London season follows a return visit to Paris where the show played a successful run last year and precedes further international dates in Greece, Russia and an 11-week tour in Australia. Alan Vincent and the Royal Ballet’s Thomas Whitehead will share the role of The Swan / Stranger, Simon Williams and Matthew Hart will share the role of The Prince and Saranne Curtin and Nina Goldman will share the role of The Queen. Whitehead and Hart both make their New Adventures debuts with the production.

Directed and choreographed by Bourne and designed by Brotherston, Swan Lake has lighting by Rick Fisher and orchestrations by Rowland Lee. It’s presented in London by Back Row Productions and Sadler’s Wells in association with New Adventures.

- by Terri Paddock