The triple bill is a triumph for the English National Ballet, for Tamara Rojo, and of course for Sadler’s Wells. It is for evenings such as this that one sits through all the others.
Three decades after the miners’ strike of 1984, families in northern England are riven because relatives crossed the picket line.
There were three pieces to the evening but the climax that everyone was waiting for was Narcissus & Echo. This is comeback-kid Sergei Polunin’s own world première, choreographed, conceived and starred in by the bad lad himself.
The gig is billed as Wayne McGregor’s but the evening belongs to one of the biggest names in the contemporary art world, Olafur Eliasson, and to musician Jamie XX. That said, it is McGregor’s gifts as a director and as a charismatic strategist that made this impressive show happen in the first place. Sadler’s Wells has brought to London an outstanding collaboration of choreographer, artist and musician.
From big budget to fringe to retro to quirky and ironic, musicals have swept the London stage as a feel-good formula destined to pack houses. A gothic rock musical that requires a team of cleaners to de-gore the stage after the first half and should include earplugs in the programme just could become a cult.
The Welsh National Opera version of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, established in the 70s by director Joachim Herz, on the basis of meticulous research, and now directed by Sarah Crisp, delivers pure emotion with devastating directness.
Either ultra-topical or else historic with contemporary resonance are the smart choices of subject matter for any playwright seeking to thrill an audience. The building of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest structure, falls somewhere in between, given that it opened in 2010 and the maltreatment and suicides of its construction workers are old news.
Even in times when rehash is more common than originality, the risk with a revival of Burt Bacharach’s late 1960s musical Promises, Promises, in turn based on Billy Wilder’s 1960 film The Apartment, is that it feels doubly derivative.
I assumed I would be bored witless but I wasn’t for one second. Quite early on we were reassured it wasn’t just a Punch and Judy show.
Adaptations of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol began around 30 years after his death and proliferated during the 1930s and 40s with a wealth of radio productions, notably one featuring Orson Welles and sponsored by Campbell’s Soup.
For the non-initiate, The Beastie Boys were a group of white New Yorkers who made the leap from punk rock to hip hop. The result was the number 1 hit Licensed to Ill and an opening up to the white suburbs of a previously black musical phenomenon.
Sergio Blanco’s hugely ambitious text is a clever conceit. It is the story of T. a middle-aged man driven to investigate the theme of Oedipus for his new play. He does this by interviewing a young prisoner who is serving several life sentences for murdering his father.