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The male gaze: Turning the screw

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It's been a while since trips to the theatre. I've been busy. But it's nice to see that it's the creative process that is at the heart of Kevin Kelly's Turning the Screw. And what gives rise to it. It's a dramatisation of the creative process leading up to composer Benjamin Britten's premiere of his opera, The Turning of the Screw. With deadlines approaching, Britten seems stuck over melodies and unsure about completing the piece for its summer premiere. But the selection of twelve-year-old choirboy David Hemmings in the leading role of Miles within the opera is the spark that motivates him to complete the piece. And his presence may stir other feelings, too. It's currently playing at the Kings Head Theatre .  Britten's fascination with young boys has been the subject of a detailed book, Britten's Children. The book suggests that Britten saw himself as a young boy of 13. It's almost as if he saw himself as Peter Pan, albeit if Peter Pan was a

Flying and flexing: A Simple Space @UnderbellyFest


Gravity and Other Myths return to the Underbelly Festival on the South Bank with their thrilling minimalist and physical show, A Simple Space. The piece strips back the art of circus performance until it’s just skin and muscle. Leaving you amazed by the feats of endurance, strength and precision.

It’s been four years since Gravity and Other Myths had this show on the South Bank. And while the performers have changed, the sense of playful wonder remains. And it’s still exciting seeing performers skip rope, handstand and backflip to the point of exhaustion.


This is not a show that makes circus art look easy. The show progresses through various feats of endurance including throwing, catching and falling. The opening scene features each performer shouting out they’re falling and wait for another performer to catch them. It’s an evocative opener and sets the tone for various set pieces that play on the theme of gravity-defying circus acts.

Audience participation includes an endurance piece where two of the female performers hold men from the audience. Until they drop one. Men sitting in the front row of this show should take note. And make sure you’re wearing appropriate underwear. There’s another scene where performer Annalise Moore hand balances over the cast and unsuspecting invites on stage.


Accompanied by a live soundtrack, its one hour of impressive feats. Particularly towards the finale as bodies climb on top of each other and are thrown about. It's a little bit of fun too.

A Simple Space by Gravity and Other Myths is at Underbelly at the South Bank until 5 May.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️



Photos by Zoe Bridger

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