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Love is all you need: The Island @cervantesthtr

A drama set on the seventh floor of a non-descript hospital waiting room may not be everyone's idea of a great night at the theatre. But love and all other forms of the human condition are dissected in Juan Carlos Rubio's The Island. Translated by Tim Gutteridge, it feels like everything is up for grabs. What is love? Is it a bond between two women with a fifteen-year age gap? Is it the love between a mother and her son with a severe unknown disability? A wonderful life full of health and happiness is not always an option on the menu, and the choices may become a bit less palatable. Throughout a series of sometimes banal conversations, what comes out is a story of two women with lives that are separate and together. And while the piece becomes darker on one level as it progresses, it never ceases to fascinate and draw further insights into the couples. It's currently playing at the Cervantes Theatre .  A couple waits in a hospital waiting room for the outcome of an accident
Music: André Previn and the LSO

Tuesday night caught André Previn and the LSO performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No 24 in C Minor and Shostakovich's Symphony No 10 in E Minor. Previn's 75 this year (or he may be 76 but little facts like that get in the way of pressing schedules) and as a tribute to their former music director, the LSO have been holding a series of concerts to mark the occasion.

It was an amazing performance. Previn played the piano for the concerto as well. The Mozart was probably a little too light after a busy day in the office, but there was no chance the Shostakovich would send you to sleep. At times it was like it would wake the dead.

Whatever his age may be, he has been a prominent figure for so many years it is easy to remember most of the photos around of him are often a decade (or two or three) old. But today, on Tuesday night, he was quite an old man. He shuffled on stage with his head arched low. He changed glasses for conducting and playing the piano. At one point it looked as if like he wasn't so stable on his feet. But through all this you could also see that he was having a tremendous time. Just before starting the Shostakovich he looked up over the orchestra and smiled at them all before giving the upbeat. It looked like it was all fun for both conductor and the orchestra.

As a "bonus" for the Tuesday evening, the LSO also presented a new short work as part of its Sound Adventures programme. It was a piece of a lot of noise and was interesting the sounds a big symphony orchestra could make. It was also written by a very talented new British composer. But it did sit a little oddly next to the Mozart. Nevertheless judging by the reviews most of the punters thought this way of introducing new music to the public was a smashing idea. Well sort of anyway... Well giving the punters new music was never going to be easy...

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