Belfast Grand Opera House
Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Sadler's Wells, London
The Lowry, Salford
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Ashton Double bill
First Steps: a child's Swan Lake
Free pre-performance talks
Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare Triple bill
The Taming of the Shrew
Variations Triple bill (Birmingham)
Variations Triple bill (tour)
The Firebird story guide
In the enchanted garden of the Immortal Kostcheï the Firebird appears,
pursued by Ivan Tsarevich. The Firebird tries to pluck golden apples from
the magic tree. But, Ivan seizes her and will not release her until she
gives him one of her feathers as a pledge of help should he ever need it.
She flies off.
The darkness dissolves and Ivan finds himself at the gate of an old castle.
12 maidens come out, led by a beautiful Tsarevna, who tells him that this is
the castle of the Immortal Kostcheï, a magician who waylays passing
travellers by casting spells on them. After exchanging tender glances with
Ivan, the Tsarevna leads her companions in a lively dance. She and Ivan
kiss. But it is now dawn and the maidens must return to the castle.
In spite of the Tsarevna's warning, Ivan decides to follow them. As soon as
he opens the gates, bells ring out and a crowd of weird figures rush from
the castle, followed by Kostcheé, before whom they prostrate themselves.
Kostcheé advances on Ivan and tries to turn him to stone. But Ivan waves the
Firebird's feather in his face, invoking her aid. She reappears and forces
the crowd to dance until they fall exhausted to the ground. While they are
all asleep, Ivan, on her instruction, steals a great egg that contains
Kostcheï's soul. He throws it to the ground. Kostcheï dies and his spell is
broken. The captives are restored to human form.
The Tsarevna and Ivan are married and everyone joins in a thanksgiving.