Concert Theatre – Rite of Spring

I first saw Concert Theatre at the Blue Elephant Theatre in 2012 – “Sonata Movements”: four short plays, including “Swan Song” by Chekhov. The idea seemed very interesting, but before the performance I was wondering if it would work in practice. In the event, I was persuaded – combining the music with theatre actually worked very well.

Don’t just take my word for it – read this piece by Michael White, a well-known music critic. Two extracts:
* “a strange but strikingly innovative hybrid of concert-recital and drama”
* “it throws up relationships between words and music that are the more fascinating for being so unlikely”
(And I like that he writes about “the wonderful little Blue Elephant theatre in darkest Camberwell”.)

Another factor for me is that I like people who have a varied background:
An-Ting Chang, Concert Theatre’s founder, has a degree in Chemistry (major) *and* Drama Theatre (minor), then earned a Master of Music from the Royal Academy of Music (RAM), and is currently researching a PhD at the RAM.
An-Ting Chang’s biography:

So I recommend Concert Theatre’s new venture, even though I haven’t seen it yet. (I’m going to the Blue Elephant Theatre on Friday.25.April.)

London performances

Wednesday.23.April to Saturday.26.April.2014 at the Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell, London

Friday.9.May to Saturday.10.May.2014 at the Clapham Omnibus venue,

Links for more information and Tour dates

The Rite of Spring / Romeo and Juliet is a visceral marriage of two tales of slaughtered innocence. The violent dissonance in Stravinsky’s depiction of a young virgin chosen for the dance of death mirrors the hatred between Shakespeare’s Montagues and Capulets, whose children are fated to die in the ancient blood feud of their families. Performed in four-hand piano and commedia half-mask, the stories interweave through passion, vitality, rage and despair to the dizzying climax of sacrifice.

The latest work by Concert Theatre, a young company combining classical music and theatre in live performance, brings together pianists from the Royal Academy of Music with Lecoq-trained performers and Trestle Theatre to create an exciting reinterpretation of two great classic works.

More information on Concert Theatre

Concert Theatre is a combination form in which classical music and drama are performed live together. Through interweaving, music becomes not just atmospheric underscore, but another language expressed by the musicians – a voice and character in its own right, spoken alongside the actors on the same stage. The two distinct works are presented side by side, to create deeper resonance and complexity of interpretation in each, and a rich complete performance.


About Colin Bartlett

I'm interested in arts, mathematics, science. Suliram is a partial conflation of the names of three good actors: Ira Aldridge, Anna May Wong, and another. My intention is to use a personal experience of arts to make some points, but without being too "me me me" about it. And to follow Strunk's Elements of Style. Except that I won't always "be definite": I prefer Niels Bohr's precept that you shouldn't write clearer than you think.
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