Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty

Wales Millennium Centre

To February 4

You do not have to be a connoisseur of ballet to enjoy this well-imagined telling of the classic fairy tale.

You can just sit back and lose yourself in the beautifully staged story which in places can be rather dark, but then what fairy tale isn't?

It certainly lived up to its billing as a gothic romance - in fact, as we were coming out I heard someone mention Steampunk, and thought that was an apt description for the style of some of the scenes.

From the start, with the baby Aurora stick puppet crawling and climbing around the stage, I found the production spellbinding, although I was slightly bewildered with the neck-biting scene at the end of the first half. All became clear, though, as the second half started - it was a way to make the gardener (Aurora's love interest) immortal so he could keep a watch on her overgrown castle and be there when she woke up from her 100-year sleep and rescue her from the fate the evil fairy had planned.

The stage settings were well conceived for each part of the action and the use of a moving section of the stage gave the impression of the fairies flying and flitting around.

The costumes were created to enhance the spectacle of the dancing, which I felt was sublime. A stand out for me was Princess Aurora's fluid performance when she was 'sleeping'.

This is the 10th anniversary of the New Adventures' production of the Tchaikovsky ballet. It is not a classic ballet as such and there are a few scenes which are very modern in their execution, but these fit this telling of the story. They do not feel out of place and add to the menace and darkness of some of the action.

If you've never been to see a ballet, this is a great place to start. And once you do start, you could well get hooked.