In the midst of preparations for last weekend’s Gidday Soiree, I took a break and went to Sadler’s Wells to see Matthew Bourne’s Play Without Words. This was both my first Bourne and even more remarkably, given my love of dance, my first visit to Sadler’s Wells. And apart from it being another bonza deal unearthed during my daily travels, Sadler’s Wells is an easy commute down the Northern Line from Gidday HQ so I suspect that this cultural pocket of London will feature amongst my erstwhile ramblings a little more often.
Anyhow, Play Without Words is set in London in the early Sixties and is based on Robin Maugham‘s novel, The Servant. The action starts as we see leading man, Anthony (all 3 of them) sign the lease on a swanky new pad. He hires manservant Prentice (3 of them), a maid Sheila (only 2 of these), meets up with an old friend and then hosts a party with his glacial financee Glenda (yes, 3 of these too) by his side.
The trios and duos interweave to show the same character captured in three different moments in time, adding power and depth to the wordless storytelling. There’s friction and frostiness as the relationship between Anthony and Glenda disintegrates. There’s wit and clever visual repartee as Prentice and Sheila insinuate themselves into the household. And there’s sizzle and sexual tension and lust and betrayal – and I LOVED IT!
But more than anything, it’s Bourne’s visionary eye that makes this a seamless and sensual masterpiece. I was entertained, uplifted, moved and thrilled…and determined I’d be back for more.
So as I left, I picked up the program for the rest of the year and amongst the turned-down page corners, you’ll find the San Francisco Ballet, the Rambert Dance Company, Paco Pena and…yes you guessed it, Matthew Bourne and his world premiere of Sleeping Beauty.
It might be baked beans on toast for a while should I let myself indulge in this passion.
Now where is my debit card?
If you are in London between now and August 5th, make sure you get along and see Play Without Words. I kid you not – it’s absolutely brilliant! And I even got an Editor’s Choice for my review on Weekend Notes.
ps…if you’ve been
under a rock ignoring me not reading my posts all the way to the end, Birthday Number 43 is fast approaching. You are down to only 13 shopping days peeps so let’s make that a lucky 13 shall we? Don’t let a little superstition get in the way of celebrating…well…me.