Showing posts from May, 2015

Life In Progress: Sylvie Guillem

After an extraordinary 39 year career, covering great works and breaking new ground in ballet and contemporary dance, Sylvie Guillem made the decision to retire on the year of her 50th birthday. Life In Progress is a farewell programme which includes two new works by Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant created especially for Guillem. As the title suggests, Life In Progress is about continuations rather than abrupt endings and Guillem demonstrates this by giving herself new challenges rather than return to much visited works (Guillem has never shied away from new and daring experiences such as leaving the Royal Ballet for contemporary dance at Sadler’s Wells in 2003). Akram Khan’s new work techne opens Life in Progress with a solo Guillem and a rotating multifaceted tree sculpture centre stage. Musicians on percussion and laptops are barely visible in the background like ghostly apparitions. Guillem’s body achieves what appears to be the supernatural as it encircles the tree with dexterity

Theatre Review: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown - Playhouse Theatre

Pedro Almodóvar’s 1988 film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown has the ingredients for a great musical theatre adaptation - love, passion, heartache, drama, humour and strong complex characters. Transferring a highly revered cinematic modern classic onto the stage has its risks as a balance has to be met between being true to the soul of the original yet allowing new interpretations to come through.   Both Almodóvar fans and theatregoers less familiar with his work will not be disappointed with the musical production currently in its final week at the Playhouse Theatre. Set in a colourful and vibrant Madrid going through a post Franco cultural and sexual explosion, the story follows actress Pepa who struggles with her lover Ivan’s unceremonious leaving. On top of the personal hurt and confusion Pepa crosses paths with Ivan’s bitter unstable wife, his shy put-upon grown up son and snobbish uptight future daughter-in-law. There is also Pepa’s best friend Candela who finds herself