New Adventures

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The Red Shoes Backstage

10 October 2017

Have a look at some exclusive images of the The Red Shoes company as they get ready to take to the stage, and some key moments during the show. These were taken backstage at Center Theatre Group's beautiful Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.

About 50 minutes before the show begins the cast are called to get ready. This is called the 'Show Call'. 20 minutes later is the half-hour call, 30 minutes before the show starts, which is known as 'the half'. Make-up first, followed by wigs - for those who wear them!


Did you know that during the Show Call The Red Shoes cast primarily take care of their own make-up, which they are very used to, after performing in the show over 200 times! The costume department help with any last minute adjustments and the cast prepare themselves mentally and physically to go on stage. This last minute prep may even include a quick coffee...


Before the show begins stage management make sure everything is ready and all the props are in the right place! The dancers wait in the wings ready for curtain up. In all New Adventures shows the cast work alongside Matthew Bourne to develop their characters, ensuring a strong sense of story-telling as well as great dancing!


During every show Neil Westmoreland, Resident Director of The Red Shoes, and Matthew Bourne, who attends the majority of the shows, and all of them when it is a new show like The Red Shoes, take notes to feed back to the cast each time they perform.

Matthew Bourne's production of The Red Shoes is a two hour performance and the dancers go on a huge journey, both physically and emotionally, with their characters. Ashley Shaw, who plays Victoria Page in the show, shared with us how she reflects on her performances:

"It's always good to self-note and recognise what you could do better next time. But mostly I just take in the feeling after a show. Being on stage makes me so happy, there's no greater feeling in the world than that total exhaustion of having given the audience everything you've got. I try to enjoy every moment and celebrate that with the company as much as I can. When Vicky Page was asked the question ‘Why do you want to dance?’ she replied ‘Why do you want to live?’ That’s how I feel. It's my everything."

Photos: Kevin Persaud (KSP Images)

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