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Matthew Bourne's Play Without Words

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  • 3 weeks later...

I looked to see what others thought of this, having only just seen it last Sunday, was amazed to see no-one else has posted in this thread so I'll give it a go - sorry I've left it so late. In the programme Matthew Bourne says it is not a dance work but a choreographed play and it is almost entirely narrative (although some of the action takes place between dancers at a night club and dancers at a party). I thought it was far more of a dance work than a choreographed play such as Alan Wesker's Kitchen at the National last year.


The story is that of Joseph Losey's film the Servant which I saw decades ago. I had forgotten the plot but had no problem following the story which deals with seduction and dominance in a very sexy manner (not suitable for young children). Pure narrative sounds boring but Matthew Bourne duplicates characters so that up to three dancers are playing the same person, allowing the beginning, middle and end of a scene to happen at once or even three 'reflections' of each other. That sounds confusing but works brilliantly. It is set to some great, live jazz music composed by Terry Davies and the dance style reflects that, although it is not 'jazz dance' as you might expect on the West End stage - it is far more inventive.


I am a bit wary of modern dance and was bored by the Featherstonehaughs but I would totally recommend this. It finishes on Sunday and there are some cheap tickets around - I recommend anyone who is willing to step beyond classical ballet to grab one of the them quickly.

Edited by Chris
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