Archive for July 15th, 2010

Mini-review – Hofesh Shecter, Political Mother – Sadler’s Wells

July 15, 2010

Hofesh Shecter has a lot of good credit in my books. In 2006 I saw his “Uprising” at the Linbury (review here but not one by me), then was motivated enough that when he came to Sadler’s Wells a year later with a program that was half a repeat, I went back and saw it again. Hey, it’s not every night where you see a choreographer create a wholly new way for men to dance on stage together, and I was up for more.

This brings us, two years later, to Political Mother, hyped as the sell-out darling of the Brighton Fringe. I can see why: ultra loud rock music; people moving in extravagant ways (even women this time!); five live guitarists and drummers; and, what the hell, a man shrieking something while wearing a gorilla masks. To top it off, the whole thing is lit like a full-on rock spectacle: and did I mention, the volume is turned to twelve?

I gotta say, though, it is not just the fact that I did not have enough sleep that had me nodding off during this performance (aided a bit by the earplugs I’d brought along to help protect what’s left of my hearing). People running in circles; guys strumming their axes like a wall full of Guitar Hero clips from You Tube; drummers banging away in uniformed unison like they’d been dropped out of a Kraftwork video; people twitching at each others; lights down, lights up, people in another place. I thought it was like “Fiddler on the Roof” as scored by Laibach; but that wasn’t an interesting dance place for me to be.

As a piece that merely had an hour to fill, it all seemed to take too long; and while he knew how to move people around on stage, it just all felt a little too much like Sound And Fury. Impressed by loudness? Impressed by brown? Impressed by people moving quickly in the dark from one place to another? Then perhaps you’ll like this piece. But I felt it started nowhere and went nowhere, and while it made a pretty spectacle of itself, it was far from the masterpiece I’d been led to expect. Interesting, probably, but still just a peek at the future and not a work of genius. And while I feel like I should probably spend a lot more time explaining the work and my response, the one thing I wanted to get out is that while there are hordes of people out there falling all over themselves to praise this show to the heavens, I, for one, do not think it deserves it. If you failed to get a ticket, do not cry; you have not missed much.

(This review is for the performance that took place on Wednesday July 14th, 2010, at Sadler’s Wells.)

Are there deals to be found for the Bolshoi?

July 15, 2010

Less that a week until the start of the Bolshoi’s season in London and I’ve seen no budging on the steep prices. My normal £12/£18 pound seats are resolutely not moving from £45, and my hopes of seeing perhaps one show from the stalls are being ruined by £85 prices. I already did Bolshoi standing, and I don’t want to be able to say that, once again, I saw half of Spartacus, even if this time it is the other half (my standing seats only allowed a view of half the stage).

The Mariinsky are continuing to be more accomodating in their ticket pricing. In addition to the bulk buy deals announced earlier, they recently sent out an email announcing £45 seats for best available dress circle seats (use “SUMMERBALLET” in the promotion code field). Even better, they have been offering some seats through the Leicester Square TKTS stall – which means you can choose half price on the VERY best seats in the house (if they are available), or, if you’re more budget minded, half price in the upper balcony. This is a fantastic deal. Now when are the Bolshoi going to budge a little? Sadly, based on the total sellout of the Saturday Spartacus performances, it seems that price movement is not in the cards. Does anyone have any tips on getting seats at below full price, or must I resolve myself to only seeing them once or twice this year?