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The Sleeping Beauty to be relayed live to cinemas across the world on 19 March 2014

Access exclusive articles, photos and films about the production with our Digital Guide.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

12 March 2014 at 5.04pm | 37 Comments

The Royal Ballet production of The Sleeping Beauty, starring Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae, will be screened live in cinemas across the world on 19 March.

Ahead of the screening, find out more about the production with our Digital Guide, which allows you to access specially selected films, photos and exclusive articles about the production while on the move.

The Story

When a wicked fairy places a fatal curse on the baby Princess Aurora, King Florestan and his Queen are distraught. However, the good Lilac Fairy promises that Aurora will not die but fall into a sleep of 100 years, a spell that only a prince’s kiss can break. Find out more in our Ballet Essentials article.

The Production

Although The Sleeping Beauty wasn’t an instant hit when it had its premiere at the Mariinsky in 1890, the ballet is now a firm favourite of The Royal Ballet repertory. When the Royal Opera House stopped performances during World War II, it was Oliver Messel’s production of the ballet that was selected to re-open the theatre in 1946. The production performed today retains much of Messel’s original design and is considered to be one of The Royal Ballet’s defining works. Find out more about Oliver Messel’s iconic production.

The Choreography

The version performed at the Royal Opera House today combines Marius Petipa’s classic 19th-century choreography with newly created sections by Frederick Ashton, Anthony Dowell and Christopher Wheeldon. Set to a passionate and iconic score by Tchaikovsky, it contains many stand-out moments, from the famous Rose Adagio in Act I, to the divertissements in the final act - a series of fairytale showpieces that feature characters including Little Red Riding Hood and Puss-in-Boots. Find out more about divertissements.


The Sleeping Beauty opened on 22 February. Read audience reactions to the opening night and add your own review.

The Sleeping Beauty will be screened live in cinemas across the world on 19 March. Find a cinema screening near you and sign up for our cinema mailing list.

The remainder of the ROH Cinema Season 2013/14 sees Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale live in cinemas 28 April, followed by Jonathan Kent’s Royal Opera production of Manon Lescaut on 24 June.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

12 March 2014 at 5.04pm

This article has been categorised Ballet and tagged by Marius Petipa, cinema, cinema season, digital guide, live relay, relay, Sarah Lamb, screening, Steven McRae, The Royal Ballet, The Sleeping Beauty

This article has 37 comments

  1. Sally Harrison responded on 14 March 2014 at 12:00pm Reply

    I manage an arts centre cinema and am interested in ROH broadcasts. I cannot see who to contact on your site, please could you let me know who to talk to about this. Many thanks.

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 14 March 2014 at 12:09pm

      Hi Sally,

      If you email our Cinema Operations Manager on, he'll be able to help.


      ROH Content Producer

  2. Carlos Visintin responded on 16 March 2014 at 8:27pm Reply

    Hello...What Parts Are By Ashton,.Dowell Amd Wheeldon??Thank you

    • Rachel Beaumont (Product Manager) responded on 17 March 2014 at 10:59am

      Hi Carlos,

      Thanks for your query. You can find this information on our Collections website here

      Frederick Ashton choreographed Aurora and Florimund's Act II Variations and Florestan and his Sisters in Act III (after Marius Petipa).
      Anthony Dowell choreographed Carabosse and the rats in the Prologue and the Polonaise and Mazurka in Act III (with Christopher Carr).
      Christopher Wheeldon choreographed the Act I Garland Dance.

      All best,

  3. I am looking forward

    • Carlos Visintin responded on 17 March 2014 at 6:56pm

      Thank you !
      sorry grammar the grammar mistakes...i was using my cellphone !
      Last comment: I love the Royal ballet!!

  4. suzanne responded on 19 March 2014 at 8:14pm Reply

    I'm enjoying the live performance now from the netherlands!

  5. HazelA responded on 19 March 2014 at 11:10pm Reply

    I watched Sleeping Beauty tonight and was absolutely captivated. Thank you for such a wonderful night.
    I would love to take my granddaughters (ages 10 and 8) they love dancing and especially ballet - so can you put on an encore perhaps at 5.0 ish in the school holidays please? This would be popular.

  6. Just returned from a spellbinding performance at Cineworld Didsbury. An inspiring performance which I am sure filled everyone in the audience with joy! Sarah Lamb and Steven McRae simply magnificent as were the other soloists and corps de ballet. The camera work really effective- not too close yet giving us good views, remembering to cut away for the chorus shots. Noticed the flute and oboe solos too as well as the violin in Act 3. Cineworld was full and looking around I would say most of the audience wouldn't be going to Covent Garden. What a treat for a Wednesday evening. BravoCG keep them coming!

  7. Tonight's live transmission of Sleeping Beauty was wonderful, greatly enjoyed in Lymington, Hampshire.

  8. Absolutely stunning performance - wonderful choreography, beautiful costumes and exceptional dancing!

  9. cara watts responded on 19 March 2014 at 11:54pm Reply

    It would be great to applaud in the cinema it is hard holding back because it isn't encouraged. How about inviting cinema audiences to applaud?

    • Nelson responded on 20 March 2014 at 9:21pm

      I can't agree more. I cannot hold back but I don't want to embarrass myself either, so I always do my 'silent claps' ... clapping with curved fingers!

      I think clapping in cinemas should be encouraged. How about showing a "clap meter" on screen to reflect the level of clapping in the audience? That should be fun!

      Kind regards

  10. Stunning performances....Act 3 was staged like a stunning italian renaissance painting....sumptious! The artistry and expertise of Sarah Lamb and Steven McCrae made me realise how utterly privileged we are to have English Classical Ballet and The ROH. I think Ninette de Valois (my childhood heroine) will be glowing at this revival.

  11. SheilaD responded on 20 March 2014 at 12:24am Reply

    It was great to see this at the cinema but here in Cheshire they didn't have any cast list sheets. I'd love to know who the first act fairies were and also the delightful bluebird couple.

  12. Maggi responded on 20 March 2014 at 12:33am Reply

    We must be less inhibited in Wolverhampton as there was plenty of applauding going on there!! ... and not many spare seats either.
    I had a big grin on my face throughout the performance.

  13. Marian Snowden responded on 20 March 2014 at 12:36am Reply

    Superb opportunity to see The Royal Ballet live - and the audience in cinema I was at did applaud!

  14. RebeccaLJ responded on 20 March 2014 at 11:47am Reply

    Like SheilaD, I would love to see a full cast list for last night's production. We were given the printed pdf supplied in your reply, but that only gives the lead dancers... I wonder why the Company does not think of selling the full programme at cinemas as well as at the Opera House. I'm sure people would buy them!

  15. Elizabeth Eyre responded on 20 March 2014 at 5:07pm Reply

    This performance last night was truly amazing - almost like being in the actual theater! Only one thing to spoil the evening and it left us all hanging.... the Cinema lost the 'Live' transmission just as Sarah was to start her final pirouette dance (10 mins before the end!!!!) this was a true let down for us. Any chance that it could be put onto YouTube? Please!

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 21 March 2014 at 12:18pm

      Dear Elizabeth

      Thanks for letting us know - sorry to hear that you had such a disappointing experience. Could you let us know which cinema you were in?



  16. Sheila Smith responded on 20 March 2014 at 6:33pm Reply

    On the posters for the relay Steven McRae was listed as Prince Desiree; on the cast list he was Prince Florimund. I know that the name of the prince can differ between productions but why was there this inconsistency?
    Having said that he was amazing!

    • Ellen West (Head of Creative Studios and Digital Products) responded on 21 March 2014 at 12:15pm

      Many thanks for flagging this Sheila. In some productions the Prince is Desiree but in ours he is Florimund. I will report to the Cinema team.

      Best wishes


  17. Nelson responded on 20 March 2014 at 9:14pm Reply

    Re: Ellen West's response to SheilaD

    Thank you for posting the "fact sheet" PDF. Can I ask the wonderful ROH team from hereon always to post the "fact sheet" on the web site please?

    I'm sure many fans will appreciate a pristine digital copy, rather than the ad hoc quality of photo-copied sheets.

    As for me, I usually scan the paper copy [to PDF] and "file it" in Evernote as a collection. Obviously I would prefer to have an original copy.

    Thanks a million ... to the performers as well as everyone at the ROH.

    Kind regards

  18. Art responded on 21 March 2014 at 5:02am Reply

    Hello, we just enjoyed the show here in New York City! So wonderful to see. However, our theater did not show the credits (they stopped just after the red runners!) Thank you for linking to the cast sheet and for providing the casting for the Fairies above.

    Can you also tell us who Florestan and His Sisters were (Act 3 pas de trois) as well as the White Cat/Puss in Boots and Red Riding Hood/Woolf? (Also asked on Twitter as @artspl) Many thanks in advance.

  19. Elizabeth Morgan responded on 21 March 2014 at 6:01am Reply

    The broadcast here in Olympia was cut-off mid-way through the 3rd Act!! The theatre said that's all they received. The broadcast was also occasionally pixilated - we want to see Wheeldon next month, but not if we get less than the whole ballet!

  20. Maria Thursby responded on 21 March 2014 at 5:05pm Reply

    It was a great production I was sad when it was all over.i wanted it to come back on again and again it was as I said greatttttttttttt.

  21. Morton Paley responded on 23 March 2014 at 5:40pm Reply

    The screening (seen in Emeryville, California) was splendid. Sarah Lamb must have been born on point!

  22. Barbara Calton responded on 30 April 2014 at 8:48am Reply

    Viewed this in a small cinema in a country town, Warragul, Victoria, Australia. Such a beautiful, elegant and vibrant production. My non-ballet friends were smitten. Thank you to you all. (Wept in 'Giselle' and felt like joining 2 small girls who jeted and spun during 'Don Quixote' intervals - it was joyous.)

  23. emma Jordan responded on 15 June 2014 at 6:53pm Reply

    Is this performance available on DVD? I saw it in December in Austin TX; I thought I had ordered a copy from Amazon and somehow, with Christmas on my mind, received yet another copy of The Nutcracker. And now I can't seem to find the current Royal Opera version.

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