A Streetcar Named Desire at Sadler’s Wells
The idea of a ballet adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ masterpiece is one that might be met with both excitement and apprehension. To relay the delicate subject matter and the much-loved iconic characters without any speech, through the medium of dance, is a brave and difficult undertaking. The Scottish Ballet however, with clever and stylish direction from Nancy Meckler and Christopher Hampson, and beautiful choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, don’t seem phased, jumping in with both feet.
Starting at the chronological beginning of the story, Blanche’s marriage to Alan, is a total contrast to the play and, from the outset, successfully sets this retelling apart from the original. Eve Mutso is perfectly cast as the vulnerable and passionate Blanche DuBois, the fluidity of her movements reflecting the flightiness and frailty of the character. Blanche is brought to life without the need for words. The intrigue and emotion of the story is thick in the air, and the audience’s captivation palpable, as the story travels from the fall of the Belle Reve to the vibrant and seedy music-filled streets of New Orleans.
The fraught and sexually charged choreography is matched by a beautiful score that begins with jaunty exuberance and lurches jarringly to woozy, anguished melodies. At times, ominous sounds fill the room, bringing an incredible intensity to the distressing scenes of emotional turmoil and madness. The story builds, the dancing intensifies and the physical depiction of insanity is truly disturbing in its success.
This is a must-see adaptation of a modern classic for theatre and ballet fans alike. The sensitivity and subtlety of the play is translated by The Scottish Ballet with skill and ease, and by the end the audience is visibly moved. With beautiful staging, an incredible score, exquisite costumes and, of course, stunning dancing, this is the full package.
A Streetcar Named Desire is on at Sadler’s Wells from 31st March until 2nd April 2015. For further information or to book, visit here.
Watch the trailer for A Streetcar Named Desire here: