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  • Writer's pictureLisa in the theatre

REVIEW: Scottish Ballet - Coppelia

Updated: Mar 26

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

24 September 2022


Scottish Ballet, Coppelia programme, playbill

I sometimes worry that I spend all of my money on theatre tickets and maybe I shouldn't... But then I go to a show like Scottish Ballet's Coppelia.

When the curtains open to reveal a beautiful high tech set and the auditorium fills with rousing music from the wonderful Scottish Ballet Orchestra, every hair on my arms stand on end and I know I've made the right choice.

As Coppelia begins we meet Dr Copelius (Bruno Micchiardi) at his Artificial Intelligence (AI) company Nulife. Straight away the set is impressive. And when Dr Copelius arrives on set he struts about his domain like a charismatic Steve Jobs, dressed head to toe in black, full of confidence and ego.

Bruno Micchiardi is mesmerising in this role. His eye contact with the audience is so powerful. He is an exceptional dancer and he has a lot of acting to contend with in this role too. Bruno was promoted to principal dancer just a few days ago, and boy is it deserved! I remember him from previous Scottish Ballet productions but this role is made for him.

Swanhilda, a journalist, is visiting Nulife and she has trouble maker written all over her. Played by one of my favourite dancers, Constance Devernay-Laurence, Swanhilda tours the facility and is introduced to human-like AI Coppelia.

Swanhilda eventually goes inside the Coppelia program and becomes her. These are my favourite scenes. Constance is divine! Live dance is perfectly synced with projections so we are never in doubt as to what's going on. It is so clever.

Constance Devernay-Laurence in Scottish Ballet's, Coppelia. Photo credit: Andy Ross

There is a scene where 'Coppelia' dances with hundreds of AI (live and projected dancers) that will stay with me for a long time. Every Scottish Ballet dancer is superb. These performers have literally dedicated their whole lives to dance and it shows.

The action on stage never stops moving. The choreography is complex and fluid, and with a live camera feed from Rimbaud Patron beamed to large screens, we can really see the dancers facial expressions. Rimbaud masterfully weaves among the action whilst never being intrusive. It is very effective.

Scottish Ballet Coppelia. Photo credit: Andy Ross

Coppelia is clever, modern, visually stunning, and with the use of onstage filming and screens giving us live close-ups of the dancers, it's like no ballet I've ever seen before. It's ambitious and incredible!

Scottish Ballet under the continued artistic direction of Christopher Hampson always push the boundaries, but here guest directors / choreographers Jessica Wright and Morgann Runacre-Temple (Jess and Morgs) take the crossover between cinematic storytelling and dance to another level.

This is a ballet like no other. Creative, imaginative, divine! I am in awe. Loved it.


📸 Production photos: Andy Ross

[Review first posted on Instagram 27 September 2022]


💗 REVIEW: Scottish Ballet - Coppelia (Scottish Tour, Glasgow) 💗

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📸 To see more pictures and videos follow @Lisa_InTheTheatre on Instagram

Lisa in the theatre, dance, theatre and comedy reviews. Scottish blog, reviewer.

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