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Marc Brew Company: Brewband review at Sadler’s Wells, London – ‘creative and eclectic’

The company of Brewband at Sadler's Wells, London. Photo: Susan Hay

Ear plugs are being offered to the audience on the way in. Brewband, part gig, part dance piece, is the work of dancer, director and choreographer Marc Brew. It brings together three Scottish rock artists with three dancer-musicians.

The songs, created by the band, are rock with a folk edge; one moment loud, drum-heavy instrumentals, the next pared-down strings set to poetic lyrics. At times it’s upbeat, at others reflective, Jill O’Sullivan’s fluttering voice adding a melancholic air to the work’s quieter moments.

The performers are strikingly versatile; the musicians alternating instruments, the dancers adding their voices or joining the band on keys, drums and guitar. The interaction between them leads to some rather beautiful moments of choreography.

Dancer Marta Masiero and wheelchair dancer Alice Sheppard merge together in a duet that pushes the limits of balance and counterweight; drummer Peter Kelly doesn’t miss a beat as his kit is dismantled by the cast and its various parts shifted about him.

As a whole the work has an experimental feel, a sense of these performers exploring their shared skills, styles and experiences. The movement and music may not always feel connected but, in the moments where they do meld, we see the power and possibility of this collaboration.

At the end the audience are invited to join Brewband on stage. It’s a fitting close to this unique celebration of music and movement.

Verdict
Marc Brew's creative and eclectic fusion of dance and music

Production Information

Composer
Brewband
Choreographer
Marc Brew
Lighting
Joe Hornsby
Costume
Lesley Hepburn
Video
Daryl Cockburn, Roswitha Chesher
Technical
Emma-Jane McHenry (audio describer), K Yvonne Strain (BSL consultant)
Production manager
Jools Walls
Cast includes
Martyn Garside, Peter Kelly, Marta Masiero, Jill O’Sullivan, Alice Sheppard, Graeme Smillie
Producer
Marc Brew Company
Running time
1hr 20mins