If you’re a fan of the Peaky Blinders TV series, then chances are that you’ll enjoy this spin off dance theatre show. I must admit that I’ve never watched the TV series so I didn’t know what to expect – sometimes that’s half the fun of going to the theatre to see a show and not knowing what is to come.
Rambert Dance in Peaky Blinders
This new dance theatre event is performed by the Rambert Dance Company with a story based on the original television programme – against a backdrop of some of the finest dark and brooding heavy metal tracks you are likely to hear – all performed with a live three-piece band on stage. If all this sounds extraordinary, it is.
The show opens with a Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes track – The Devil Inside Me – setting the tone for an experience that takes the audience on a journey that is dark, entertaining and yet utterly mesmerising.
As the house lights went down at the Bradford Alhambra, we were transported back to the trenches of the first World War as we see Tommy Shelby (Joseph Kudra) and his brother Arthur (Dylan Tedaldi) along with their comrades on the battlefield, their bodies twisting and turning like dead corpses.
The action moved back home when the brothers return from the war with the more familiar storyline of gang warfare.
There were lighter moments such as replicating a ride of a merry-go-round and a visit to a roaring 1920’s nightclub as Tommy meets and falls in love with the mysterious Grace (Seren Williams). Grace’s slinky and alluring presence was clearly enticing, as she danced with apparent ease.
But by the second half of the show Tommy falls into despair and depression as tragedy hits, forcing him to come to terms with the demons that haunt him.
Between a rock concert and a high-octane ballet
The choreography by Benoit Swan Pouffer is energetic, at times acrobatic, with syncopated gestures that correspond with the music. Bringing to mind routines that have been performed in Cabaret and even Michael Jackson’s Thriller, your eyes are left wide open with the outstanding dance routines.
A cross between a rock concert and a high-octane ballet show the music is as much part of the appeal as the dancing – with a soundtrack that has songs from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Radiohead and Anna Calvi. The songs fitted effortlessly into the show making you want to discover the original versions.
Equally dark yet glorious too, even for someone who is not a fan of ballet I found this a real treat that had me joining in with the rest of the audience in a standing ovation at the end of the night.
Appealing to fans of the television series and newbies such as myself, this is a show that is definitely worth more than a peak.