Sunday 1 February 2015

Pundit pays 'penance' at Swan Lake

Published 26/02/2014 | 02:30

Neil Francis and Brenda Donoghue tonight at the opening night of Matthew Bournes Swan Lake at The Bord Gais Energy
Pictures:Brian McEvoy
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Broadway Entertainment Group in association with New Adventures presents the Multi Award-winning Matthew Bournes Swan Lake which opened tonight at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre and will run until this saturday 1st March.

Premiering at Sadlers Wells in 1995, Matthew Bournes triumphant modern re-interpretation of Swan Lake turned tradition upside down, taking the dance world by storm. Matthew Bourne blends dance, humour and spectacle with extravagant, award-winning designs by Lez Brotherston, to create a provocative and powerful Swan Lake for our times. Now firmly crowned as a modern-day classic, this iconic production is perhaps best-known for replacing the traditional female corps de ballet with a menacing male ensemble.

Liz Koops, Chief Executive for Broadway Entertainment Group, who has produced the show globally for 8 years, says We are delighted to be bringing Matthew Bournes Swan Lake back for its fifth international tour.  I am immensely proud to have been part of this wonderful production for so many years, a production which remains as fresh, vibrant and as relevant as it was at its very first performance. Its unrivalled success is a testament to its unique storytelling and iconic beauty.

Collecting over 30 international theatre awards including three Tony Awards, MATTHEW BOURNES SWAN LAKE has been acclaimed as a landmark achievement on the international stage. It has become the longest running ballet in the West End and Broadway and enjoyed five successful tours in the UK and thrilled audiences all over the world.

MATTHEW BOURNES SWAN LAKE is directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne with Set and Costume Design by Lez Brotherston and Lighting Design by Rick Fisher
Neil Francis and Brenda Donoghue

RUGBY pundit Neil Francis said he felt he was "paying his penance" for the controversial comments he made earlier this month, by attending Matthew Bourne's all-male production of 'Swan Lake'.

He had suggested live on air on Newstalk radio that the percentage of gay people in professional sport was lower than in the general population.

"I'm here to review the show for Derek Mooney and 'The Mooney Show'. This is part of my penance," Francis told the Irish Independent at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre last night.

"I've turned up blank. I know very little about it . . . I am going in with an open mind. But I know it's an all-male cast and a radical staging."

But Francis said he 'doubted' he would become a ballet convert.

"It's unlikely, but I'm open to anything."

Francis apologised "unreservedly" for the comments he made on Newstalk 'Off The Ball'.

"Professional sport by its very nature does not promote . . . there are a wide range of people who are homosexual and the environment that they are in isn't something that they are really interested in," he said on air.

Irish Independent

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