Creature review, Sadler’s Wells Theatre: English National Ballet and Akram Khan make a brilliant match

New production is a superb retelling of Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’

Zoe Anderson
Friday 24 September 2021 14:28
Comments
<p>Jeffrey Cirio in ‘Creature'</p>

Jeffrey Cirio in ‘Creature'

English National Ballet and Akram Khan make a brilliant match: the ballet company and the contemporary choreographer unlock new qualities in each other. After Khan’s elemental Dust and his intense reworking of Giselle, his potent new Creature takes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as a starting point. But it spins into something new, a very individual story of loneliness, space flight, regimentation and loss.

Shelley’s novel ends with the Creature alone in the Arctic. Khan’s protagonist starts there, conscripted into a military unit preparing for a space mission. Tim Yip’s stark set is an enclosed shack with towering, rickety walls, almost as bleak as the icy wastes beyond. It’s a claustrophobic setting for a tight-wound drama that never lets up.

Vincenzo Lamagna’s new score layers a live orchestra with recorded sound, including the voice of actor Andy Serkis. We hear the promise, or threat, that the heavens will become part of man’s world. As he listens, the Creature morphs from one identity to another, different images shining out: animalistic moves, a courtly pose, a soldier’s drill with a gun.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in