Thursday, May 18, 2006

Stage Magic


The Hammersmith Lyric is probably my favourite theatre in London at the moment. Miss Hunt and I saw our favourite show of the year to date there, Kneehigh's superb Nights At The Circus, and their programme of inventive, frequently magical productions is unrivalled by any other venue.

I was there again last night to see Aurelia's Oratorio, an occasionally beautiful, often just bizarre, series of stage illusions performed by Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter Aurelia Thierree.

The show was a unusual blend of circus and dance, visual jokes and strange vignettes. It was inevitably quite episodic and at less than an hour and a half it still felt overstretched, but when it worked it was quite wonderful. In one scene a curtain of lace falls across the stage and behind it Aurelia is menaced by puppets. It doesn't sound that exciting but it was one of the most visually inventive things I've seen. Like everything the Lyric does, Oratorio play's to the audience's sense of wonder - it allows a little magic to enter your life.

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