Its programe can be streamed through its website
its next offering is Avant Garde Dance Company's Fagin's Twist, an original take on Charles Dickens' seminal novel, Oliver Twist. Cutlure Whisper saw its premiere at The Place: here's our ★★★★★ review:
Imagine if Dickens’ universally loved Oliver Twist were not the innocent victim of a ruthless street gang, nor Fagin one of literature most vivid villains… Instead, we’re told by the Artful Dodger (Aaron Nuttall), who is also the narrator of choreographer Tony Adigun’s Fagin’s Twist, we’re about to witness a tale with ‘all manner of twists, turns and deceptions.’
For the next 90 minutes we’re faced with a pulsating piece of dance theatre that blends the energy of hip hop, and in particular breakin’, with the language of contemporary dance and the spoken word to tell a story that fleshes out the early days of Fagin, an orphan left to fend for himself amid grinding poverty in the mean streets of Victorian London.
There’s constant movement on stage from the dancers – the novel’s five main characters plus an ensemble of two – and from the set itself, which consists of a series of very versatile slatted wooden panels, that can be wheeled around to form settings for the street or the space the gang call home.
Fagin, the tall and imposing Arran Green, and Bill Sykes, a sullen Stefano A. Addae, meet and become friends as youngsters in a work house. Both have dreams: Fagin wants prosperity and status, symbolised by a gleaming pocket watch; Bill wants a girlfriend, and that he finds in the person of gentle Nancy, yearningly danced by Ellis Saul.
Part 1, which ends with the introduction of Fagin to young Oliver Twist, an impish Sia Gbamoi, quickly draws you into the story, helped along by a heavy electronic score from Seymour Milton and Benji Bower, which at times is no more than drawn out, disquieting noise well suited to the rough and tumble of the streets. The moody and highly effective lighting bears the signature of Jackie Shemesh.
Part 2 takes a little time to establish itself and regain its grip on you. When it finally does, it’s intensely powerful. A trio between Oliver, Nancy and Sykes, an intricate blend of power play and jealousies, is gripping; as is the climax of the tale, in which Oliver reveals himself to be, in the Dodger’s own words, ‘a conniving, thieving, opportunistic little sh*t.’
Fagin’s Twist is a fascinating and original piece of dance theatre, anchored by a seamless blend of dance languages. It has its longueurs, but is nevertheless well worth 90 minutes of your life!
Age Guidance: 8+
|What||Fagin's Twist, Avant Garde Dance, The Place Online|
|Where||The Place, 17 Duke's Road, London, WC1H 9PY | MAP|
11 Jun 20 – 15 Jun 20, 19:00 Dur.: 1 hour and 45 mins