Jazzed-up ballet double bill, featuring modern Coppelia interpretation and a dance sketch inspired by our daily routines, The Supermarket Suite, is part of The Garden Theatre Summer Festival at St Gabriel’s Hall in Pimlico.
Choreographed and directed by William Spencer, who is a 10 time Off Westend awards nominee, this show features a brand-new short work The Supermarket Suite. This 10 minute comedy routine on Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker is a light and funny piece that sets the mood in the room and makes everyone in the audience feel at ease with the cast.
After a short interval, almost an hour-long Coppelia performance begins. Following roughly the same plot as the original classic ballet, this version is set in modern day Soho and raises modern questions, including gender fluidity, open relationships, and toxic influences of our relatives and friends.
Both pieces are staged with just four male dancers, but they manage to tell a story and demonstrate some interesting choreography. While some group dances may not always be on pointe, duos and solos work wonderfully for this cast, letting us feel their energy and connection. I especially admired the night scene in Coppelia, where modern choreography was supported by interesting lighting design.
Overall, the props and costumes are kept to a minimum, being markers of the locations and objects we are required to imagine. It makes you work harder as a viewer to create the full picture but lets the cast focus on the choreography.
Coppelia would be a perfect fit for a Fringe Festival as it hits the sweet spot between a sassy comedy sketch and an original dance piece. Catch it at St Gabriel’s Hall in Pimlico until August 14th.