Getting a kick from sexy play
Matthew Bourne's dance company has already enjoyed sell-out performances in Leicester with Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. But the company returns at the end of this month with the iconic Play Without Words.
Inspired by the 1963 film The Servant, it's devastatingly sexy (so not suitable for under-12s), incredibly stylish (set in 1965 Chelsea) and backed with an original jazz score.
And it was powerful enough to draw leading lady Saranne Curtin back to dance five years after retiring from the business.
"I retired completely in 2007, after having my second child," she says.
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"I'd carried on touring after having my first, but with my second child I was at the point where the first was about to go to nursery, my priorities were changing, and getting back in shape to be able to dance at a professional level after pregnancy was going to be tough.
"But Play Without Words is more movement-based than full-on dance, and with Leicester, Sadler's Wells and Norwich, it's a short season.
"Just three venues is really short for a Matthew Bourne piece – blink and you'll miss it."
So what's the great appeal that brought her out of retirement?
"It's a very special piece, and it's become an iconic show in the seven years since it was last done.
"We all loved it the first time, from the first moment that Matthew said it was what we were going to do and how we would interpret it, the creation of the piece and then every single performance. It was always enjoyable and always a happy time.
"It's got an amazing jazz score, probably the most stylish show visually I've ever done, the sets and costumes are stunning and it's sit-on-the-edge-of-your-seat-sexy!
"It's got humour, beauty and the intrigue of several different dancers all interpreting the same roles. It really must be seen."
Will it be enough to keep her out of retirement?
"No, I shall be going back into retirement after this," she laughs. "There's a fantastically young new company coming through the ranks and it's definitely time to pack it in.
"The thought of a technique class every day is horrifying. I did bikram yoga the other day and I could tell my body has had five years away. It's fine for this show and okay for now, but if I had to go back to the level I was at before, to the level that the company is at technically, then I'm not sure I could.
"And I've got two gorgeous children and I'd miss them!
"What this has given me is a massive new respect for all the working mums out there though, I don't know how they do it on a day-to-day basis.
"It's the organisation of childcare and making sure everything is okay while you're working is hard.
"I'll never be able to beat the buzz of performance so, of course, there will always be a little part of me that wants to keep going, but it's nicer to go and watch other people and head home at the end of the night."
Play Without Words is at Curve from June 29 to July 7. Details on 0116 242 3595 or visit: www.curveonline.co.uk