THERE are a hundred things I could say about Sir Matthew Bourne's adaptation of The Red Shoes.

But for the sake of this short review I'll just say at the 100th performance on the current tour this faultless production overwhelmingly deserved its soaring standing ovation.

Sir Matthew himself was in the audience to see yet another triumphant performance in a theatre where he knows he is welcomed with warm open arms.

The tale of The Red Shoes, written in 1845 by Hans Christian Anderson, inspired the classic 1948 Powell and Pressburger cinematic masterpiece.

Matthew and his creative collaborators have since stamped their New Adventures spirit and passion over every scene in this celebration of dance, theatre, film ... and art.

This is the story of Victoria Page who is born to dance.

She is obsessed ... head-over-heels, in fact.

Victoria dreams of dance domination but she falls in love along the way and steps out out of it.

Yet those red shoes have more persuasive power than she knows.

Oustanding Ashley Shaw glides and floats throughout.

In one screen she puts on her shoes with the straps trailing behind leaving (in my imagination) a stream of blood.

Dominic North as her composer and lover Julian Craster is equally sensuous.

Their beautifully-choreoographed love-making is reminiscent of the movie From Here to Eternity.

Reece Causton wears his art on his sleeve as the ballet impressario Boris Lermontov - a serious man who finds a different kind of infatuation in a tense, traumatic triangle.

The Red Shoes is multi-layered.

We see the ballet within the ballet.

The overseas trips to Monte Carlo and the French Riviera where you can almost taste the sea amid the lashings of colour.

There is darkness, too, in a bleak Hitchcockian graveyard.

We are taken back to the London music hall where Victoria finds herself on the bill with an Eygptian sand dance duo.

Matthew always ensures we have humour alongside the non-stop motion and emotion.

I am not alone in always finding something new in this sumptious production.

The all-encompassing music of Bernard Herrman is the perfect match for a fairy tale.

Yet again the cinematic design from Lez Brotherston provides a visual treat in every shape and form.

Matthew dedicates his show to all the 'Victoria Pages past and present who have ever felt the lure of the red shoes and the need to express themselves through dance'.

He also says a big 'thank you for their continued inspiration.'

From me and the audience standing on their feet ... thank you Matthew for your dedication and gift for inspirational theatrical magic.

Five stars

Dreamy, dark, delicious and delightful.

The show is at the Empire until Saturday.

Tickets from box office on 0844 8713017