Sheffield theatre sees love that lasts 100 years

Dominic North in Sleeping Beauty
Dominic North in Sleeping Beauty
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Dancer Dominic North plays a man who waits a century to be reunited with the woman he loves in a new version of Sleeping Beauty.

The show is being brought to Sheffield by dance company New Adventures, whose artistic director Matthew Bourne specialises in telling well-known stories with a twist.

Dominic said: “You’ll recognise everything that happens. She goes to sleep for 100 years but the difference is where she goes to sleep and Prince Charming comes in and gives her a kiss to wake her.

“You’ve got a love story from the beginning, which is where my character Leo comes in.”

Princess Aurora is still bewitched but this time her beloved is not a handsome prince but an ordinary man.

Dominic describes his character, gardener Leo, as Princess Aurora’s “bit of rough” and the couple have a forbidden love before she is put under the spell that sends her to sleep.

The first part of the action is set in Edwardian times, so there’s a very Gothic feel to a lot of the piece.

When Aurora wakes up in the modern world, Leo is there waiting for her. Impossible, surely? Dominic said: “That’s where the Gothic twist comes in as he is a vampire.”

Leo has chosen immortality to be with the woman he loves but has to fight to save her from those who want to do her harm.

Dominic said: “It’s a good role because he’s a nice guy. He had to wait around outside the palace and he gets stitched up by Carabosse, who is trying to avenge his mother’s death and is trying to kill Aurora.

“There is a happy ever after, so that’s good.”

The Leeds-born dancer last appeared at the Lyceum in the role of Angelo in The Car Man and has appeared in more New Adventures productions than any other dancer.

The company is most famous for its all-male version of Swan Lake and other popular productions include Edward Scissorhands, Cinderella and Lord of the Flies, combining dance with storytelling.

Dominic said: “In most companies it’s more like you were told what to do a lot and directed a lot. Here you weren’t told what to do but learned on the job. I have acquired some acting skills, so now I’m a dancer and actor.

“Suddenly I was doing these massive roles, leading and with long scenes to do. I didn’t really know it was happening to me until it happened.”

A real-life fairytale happy ending for Dominic.

Sleeping Beauty is at the Lyceum from next Tuesday to Saturday. Box office: 0114 249 6000 or online at www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk