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Peter Schauffuss’ Midnight Express

April 15, 2013

The Alan Parker 1978 movieMidnight Express” made quite an impression on me when I saw it at the Regal in Leamington Spa. When I saw that a ballet of “Midnight Express” with Sergi Polunin cast as Billy Hayes at the London Coliseum was announced I bought tickets immediately. The production has received notoriety because Sergi Polunin did not turn up for rehearsals and has been found in Moscow. Johan Christensen was cast as a replacement in the lead role.

“Midnight Express” is such a cultural reference for me from my teenager years that I had very high hopes. The performance commenced and the familiar beats of the electronic Georgio Moroder soundtrack boomed into the auditorium with a beautiful young man framed by a simple yet powerful set design and I was expectant. Johan Christensen’s dancing was brilliant and I will look out for him in the future. I liked the choreography to a certain extent and I enjoyed watching the performance.

However I left the theatre feeling ultimately disappointed. The incredible raw power of the story communicated in the movie had not been captured at all. It had been lost in the choreography. It was all too regimented and too soft on reflection. It didn’t really work.

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From → Theatre

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