A little bit of burlesque

As Kylie Minogue’s creative director and stylist William Baker prepares to go into the West End’s Garrick Theatre with the Hurly Burly Girls and with Burlesque the film still fresh in the memory it seems that bawdyness is back in vogue (interesting article here)

But its not just London where you can experience a little risque music and comedy. Over in Plymouth Annabels hosts a regular night – Kingdom of night time pleasures – and even Dartington now is going to dip its toe into the murky waters.

On Thursday 17 and Friday 18 March Dartington is hosting a two day development workshop on Murray Lachlan Young’s new verse play – A Burlesque. Thanks to the generous support of Arts Council South West the development period started back in January at Beaford Arts. In fact it was during development in Beaford that it was discovered that one of the characters in the play was a burlesque dancer.

So on Thursday director Paul Jepson together with performers Mary Woodvine (Kneehigh etc), Rory Wilton (Bedlam Theatre) , Jerome Wright and Kirsty Osmon (winner of the 2010 Manchester Evening News Best Newcomer award) will spend two days exploring the latest draft of Murray’s verse play. The company will reconvene in April at London’s Drill Hall for a further two days before a rehearsed reading in front of an invited audience.

Right now heres what the piece is about:-

A full moon rises over a windswept cottage in the middle of nowhere.

Children are in bed, wine is breathing nicely and dinner is in the oven.

It’s Gordon (Rory Wilton) and Celia’s (Mary Woodvine) tenth wedding anniversary. They wanted to ask their oldest and best friends Zach (Jerome Wright) and Jane, down from London. The only problem is that Zach and Jane aren’t Zach and Jane anymore.

Jane has gone and Julia (Kirsty Osmon) has taken her place. Julia is: twenty-five, French and a Burlesque performer. She is: annoyingly bright and disgustingly gorgeous.

As the wine flows, and the dinner expands. Each fabulous course brings a shocking new revelation. Soon it becomes painfully obvious that no one has been telling the truth to anyone about anything, for a very long time.

Caught in the teeth of this hideously funny black farce, we watch the characters slowly stripped bare of pretensions and secrets. Savaged by the evening’s glorious downward spiral and left with no option but to take a good hard look at well, everything really.

Spoken completely in verse

Burlesque: dances, lies, laughs, sings and cries on it’s merry way to ask the simple questions:

Are you happy with your life choices?

How much do you really care about other people?

Just what is a real man/woman?

But who knows – by Friday it could have taken another turn – which is of course the joy of working with brand new, developing material. You can stay in touch by following this blog – or Murray’s twitter feed (@murraylyoung) or me on (@matthewLinley)

For a quick taste of what might be in store here is Murray performing a brief extract during a recent visit to the @thebikeshed, Exeter.

Zeitgeist – by Murray Lachlan Young from matthewlinley on Vimeo.

As Immodesty Blaize might say – Its going to be an interesting couple of days!

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