THEATRE REVIEW | Play Without Words
If you’re anything like me then the ballet isn’t something you’ve considered as being your thing and contemporary dance conjures up images of incomprehensible manoeuvres performed with ridiculous seriousness. I always thought dance seemed a bit absurd and inaccessible.
I saw a production of Matthew Bourne’s brilliant “Edward Scissorhands” in Nottingham a few years back and was proved entirely wrong. I’ve since seen quite a bit of modern dance and most of it has exceeded my expectations but my loyalties still lie with Mr Bourne. He’s certainly earned the many accolades and awards he’s gathered with his productions including the long running all male production of “Swan Lake”. He’s also earned the admiration of a whole load of gay men with the gay themed “Dorian Gray”, the homoerotic “The Car Man” (loosely based on “Carmen”) and the recent “Early Adventures” with its gay overtones and its homage to male underwear modelling. That’s not to mention the obligatory amount of lithe male flesh which is often on show. The Joan Crawford style stepmother in “Cinderella” was pure high camp and the scene where loose women and even looser men ply for trade in a 1940s Underground Station was enough to titillate even the most jaded palate.
His latest production has just opened at Sadler’s Wells and is due to transfer to Norfolk and I’d recommend catching it before it’s too late. Forget the Olympics. This is definitely an inspirational show.
The show is called “Play without Words” and is loosely based on 1960s British films like “The Servant”. It’s set in Chelsea in the upper class home of a bright young thing and revolves around his relationship with his manservant. It’s a fantastic production. The sense of seductive and permissive morals is played out with intensity against a back drop of desperate power struggles. The costumes, set and styling are breathtaking and the show manages to be suave and erotic as well as funny and invigorating. The dancing styles encompass a range of movements and the sheer force of some of the dance sets is immensely powerful. Catch it while you can! It’s the most chic and stylish thing you’ll see this year. Think Colin Firth in Tom Ford’s “A Single Man”. Oh…did I mention? There are some very attractive men in it too and they’re not too unhappy about showing off their bodies along with their dancing skills.
The show is running at Sadler’s Wells until the 5th of August 2012 before a transfer to Norwich Theatre Royal from 7th to 12th of August 2012
Matthew’s new production of “Sleeping Beauty” starts in November.
Chris Bridges writes for the Gay UK team and also publishes reviews and opinion articles on his blog: http://gayboyinterrupted.blogspot.co.uk/