Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Week in Performing Arts - 10/5/12

It seems that it’s the season for unlikely musicals. After the news that Bret Easton Ellis’American Psycho is to be turned into a musical, so now comes the revelation that Coronation Street is destined for the same fate. But this isn’t an ordinary musical adaptation – this is a musical designed for arenas rather than proscenium stages, with massive video screens over the stage showing footage from the series, a huge stage and a large cast.

The Corrie musical: 'Street of Dreams' ©ITV

Alex Edwards, a 22 year-old graphic design student from Wakefield, has won the Roses Award for his new project, called ‘Were4 rt thou Rmo?’ Edwards has reduced the language of Shakespeare into text-speak in a flip-book with the text-language alternating with Shakespeare’s actual lines. He says the idea is to make people realize how much easier Shakespeare is to understand when written out in full, and to appreciate the beauty of Shakespeare’s language.

A 23 year-old on a training placement has bagged himself a lead role in a West End show, directed by the renowned British director Peter Brook. Rikki Henry went out to Paris to work behind the scenes at the Bouffes du Nord theatre as part of the Jerwood Assistant Director scheme. He was helping out at auditions when Brook offered him the role. David Lan, artistic director of the Young Vic where Henry will perform later this month in The Suit, was unsurprised, saying that Henry has ‘an instinctive sense of theatre. […] Talent will out’.

Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex is the unlikely setting for a new staging of Hamlet from the site-specific company dreamthinkspeak. What is even unlikelier is that is it taking place in a warehouse previously home to a ‘vacuuming solutions’ company, near a rubbish tip, on a dilapidated industrial estate and opposite a scrapyard. Something is rotten in the state of Denmark, indeed. Upon stepping inside the warehouse, visitors will experience a multimedia play – like being ‘in a kaleidoscopic, 3D art gallery, or being immersed inside a film’, according to artistic director of the company, Tristan Sharps.

It’s no surprise that this year there will a whole range of Olympics-related performance art. Joe Cutler’s Ping! will be the first piece to be accompanied by a string quartet and 4 table-tennis players. The table-tennis players are ‘the percussion section, but also like dancers’, he says.

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