Play Without Words
a kate west review
by Matthew Bourne, music by Terry Davies
inspired by Joseph Losey's film, based
on "The Servant" by Robin Maugham
A New Adventures / National Theatre
at the Ahmanson Theatre, 135 North Grand Ave, Los Angeles 90012
April 8 - May 29, 2005; contact 213-628-2772 or www.taperahmanson.com
Bourne must know how ultra-cool he is. The sophisticated choreographer
and creator of the 1995 ground-breaking new version of "Swan Lake" brings
his latest work of art to the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles and wows audiences
yet again with his signature style and aplomb. "A Play Without Words"
is just that - a stylized unfolding of intrigue, without words and with much to
decipher. First of all, the music is incredible. Sexy jazz tunes created by Terry
Davies, specifically for this performance prevail throughout, setting the silky
suave mood. And musical Directors Michael Haslam and Benjamin Pope keep the pace.
The soundtrack, combined with Bourne's sure-handed choreography and direction,
makes for a truly knock-out production.
character is portrayed by three different dancers, so there are always a multitude
of people on stage, each one acting out a different nuance of the story. There
is no dialogue, the dancers relying solely on music and choreography to tell their
story. Based on the classic film by Joseph Losey (from Robin Maugham's "The
Servant"), the story is about a worldly couple, living in 1960's hip London,
bored with life and each other. Two servants live with them, who scheme to bring
down their masters a notch or two. The resulting drama is exciting and extraordinarily
include Sam Archer, Ewan Wardrop, Richard Winsor, Michela Meazza, Anjali Mehra,
Emily Piercy, Scott Ambler, Steve Kirkham, Eddie Nixon, Maxine Fone, Valentina
Formenti and Alan Vincent. It is fascinating to watch the different areas of the
stage where different parts of the story play out. Matthew Bourne is terrific
at expressing dimension in dance and emotion and both are always crystal clear.
Already well-known for such brilliant modern productions as "Swan Lake",
"Cinderella" and "Nutcracker", his current production of "A
Play Without Words" is no exception to his prolific roster of gems.
A pure delight, this production is definitely a must see. Witty, sexy, groovy
and fun, its intensity steams up the stage, riveting the audience, so much that
you can hear a pin drop. It will not disappoint, so hurry and join in another
innovative Bourne event, as soon as you can.