Thursday, 5 July 2012

Review: A play without words

Last night was date night, and the fella took me for a meal and to the theatre. We went to see A Play Without Words by Matthew Bourne at The Curve in Leicester (Curve website). It was his choice, and I was a bit dubious because last time we saw a student play and it was horrendous. I mean... really horrendous.

We are at Five Thai next door to the theatre. They do a pre-theatre dinner. It was a bit quiet, but nicely decorated. Unfortunately the food was a little hot for us: we both ordered the thai green curry. The food was reasonably priced at £12 for two courses, and they were quick to serve us. That might have been because we were the only ones there. I'm not sure I would go for a pre-theatre meal here again, but I would probably go with a group of friends if the restaurant was a but busier.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the play, because it wasn't really publicised as contemporary dance, but once it started I started to get a good feel for it. I studied Drama at Kent University and we watched a piece of contemporary dance as part of that, so I'd seen this kind of thing before. The play was made up of four main characters and was set in the 60s. The outfits were brilliant and the dancers were very natural.

The play was staged in an interesting way that I hadn't seen before. Each character was played by more than one person at one time. Basically you would have a scene with a couple, but instead of having one couple dancing together, there were three sets of couples. Each male was dressed the same, and each female, but each person was doing something slightly different. If one male smoked a cigarette, so did the others, but they weren't completely choreographed in sync. This made the play more interesting to watch and added another dimension to the characters. 

Matthew Bourne
One couple being played by different people at the same time.

The play didn't really have a huge amount of plot. It was basically about an uptight couple being tempted by outsiders who were more sexual and interesting. Despite the plot not being terribly exciting, it was the dancing and the little elements of humour and clever staging that made the play interesting to watch. It also had some quite sexual parts, but I don't think it went far enough to make the audience feel uncomfortable; it was more about subtlety than in-your-face sex. 

Matthew Bourne

I would definitely recommend going to see this play if you are visiting Leicester at any time during the rest of this week. I'm not saying the play would suit everyone, but it's a good example of seeing something that's fairly different and unusual but that is done well and doesn't become too pretentious. There was a VERY smelly man sitting right next to us during the play, and even this didn't ruin the evening. Please leave a comment if you do go and see this and tell me what you thought.

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