London £20 Challenge: a play, a contemporary dance show and a photo exhibition
Last weekend we set out to show that you don’t need to plan your entertainment months in advance in order to grab a bargain.
The Play: Sunshine Boys (paid £13.00, booked: 7 hours before the curtain)
Not sure whether I was more thrilled by Danny deVito’s hilarious performance or the height of Savoy’s Upper Circle section. Although the ticket read ‘Restricted View’ there were no visible obstacles to my vision (we had to lean a little forward to avoid the railings from getting in the way, but that was a minor inconvenience). It was a great light-hearted comedy with many laugh-out-loud moments and a deeper underlying theme of reconciling a rocky friendship. Danny deVito and Richard Griffiths teach the audience a great lesson of looking past minor disagreements and letting go of ancient grudges in order to enjoy wonderful memories together. All in all, a fantastic night of A-class comedy + a heartwarming story which (thankfully) does not get too preachy. As a bonus you get to enjoy the grand interiors of Savoy Theatre and a pleasant post-theatre discussion must be had while walking down the Strand on a warm June’s evening.
The Dance Show: Laban Historical Project (paid £6.00, booked: 11 hours before the curtain)
This year at Trinity Laban (Conservatoire of Music and Dance) BA2 students performed 3 contemporary pieces; “Living Temple”, “Torelli” and “Smithereens”. The choreography was reconstructed from historical pieces and modified to suit the dancers. The first dance was reconstructed from the memories of Valerie Preston-Dunlop, originally choreographed by Rudolph Laban himself this dance was first performed in 1922 in Germany. It highlighted the struggle between human individualism and the need to conform in an urban setting. While watching the dance my imagination took me into London’s tube at rush hour. Torelli – the second dance, was performed mostly without music and gave the audience a sneak peak of what it is like to be a dancer (constant stretching, wearing mismatched training clothes and restlessly searching for a perfect combination of moves which will hopefully lead to ultimate self expression and maybe a dance). The final piece was the most visual, the costumes were inspired from early 20th century cabaret outfits, there was an element of darkness, some comedy including silent-movie facial expressions.
The Photo Exhibition: The Black and Whites by Ben Hopper (paid £0.00, RSVP’d: 1 week before the launch party)
Ben’s photo exhibition launch party was held at The Yard, part theatre part storage space wonder in Hackney Wick. The black and white photographs taken in the last 3 years featured various performers during practice and off-duty. There was also a guy with two talking socks, a host who sang songs about bankers and teachers, a mime from Germany and some circus/cabaret performers to entertain the public.