Review: Play Without Words at Curve Leicester
Matthew Bourne’s revival of his decade-old production has lost none of its original appeal, writes Lizz Brain.
It takes talented dancers to act this well and get across a multitude of emotions, motivation and justification without a scrap of dialogue.
With each character played in duplicate or triplicate simultaneously, it’s a fascinating concept which works.
No, it won’t be to everyone’s taste, and it relies on the audience’s ability to be open-minded and simply accept what is being seen.
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But by doing so you get double and triple the pay-off by seeing the nuances that different performers bring to the same role at the same time.
Lez Brotherston’s imposing set maximises the vast Curve space with 1963 London – from Chelsea apartments and Big Ben to seedy Soho nightclub, alongside exquisite costumes which perfectly evoke the era.
Based on the 1963 film The Servant, the piece explores the sexual revolution of the 60s, the class divide, equality and liberation.
But what director and choreographer Bourne does so accurately and brilliantly is get to the crux of how men and women feel about each other.
Richard Winsor and Saranne Curtin, who helped create the original production, return for this short revival, both oozing class and sensuality.
But there’s not a poor performance among the dozen dancers. Terry Davies’s original jazz score is played live by an exceptional five-piece band, adding an extra raw element into the potent mix.
It’s a classy piece with witty choreography, an unusual concept and the constant bubbling of erotic tension. Sexy, stylish, stunning.
• See the website for tickets and more information www.curveonline.co.uk