Earlier this week (24.05.16) my step mum and I went to see Jekyll and Hyde at The Old Vic Theatre in Waterloo, a new dance thriller choreographed by Drew McConie. If you’ve read my previous post about the Olivier Awards you may recognise Drew’s name as he won an Olivier for Best Theatre Choreographer for his work on In The Heights. I’m sure you can imagine my excitement when I put two and two together and realised that The McConie Company is the resident dance company at The Old Vic Theatre, of which we have a lot of involvement with at PwC – but more on that later.
Now before seeing any good show, dinner and cocktails are a must. I am always on edge as to whether there’s time to have a full sit down meal in between finishing work and the show starting: there’s about a 2 hour window to get across town, order, eat, and get to the theatre. I booked us a table at Azzurro, a cute Italian restaurant that was just down the road from the theatre, and we got 241 with Tastecard – win win! 1 goats cheese and pomegranate salad, a prawn risotto, a caprese pizza and a bottle of wine down we were ready to head down the road in time to order our interval drinks and find our seats.
The Old Vic surprised me somewhat. I have never been before and I don’t know what I was expecting but it was beautifully classic yet had a quirky vibe about it. We took our seats and I have to say I was impressed with my selection. It’s always difficult choosing your seats when you haven’t seen the theatre as you can’t judge the view, but we were sat in the middle of the back row of the stalls and could see the stage perfectly. As people began to take their seats atmospheric music filled the room. It reminded me of one thing – queuing for a roller coaster at a theme park. If you’ve queued for a roller coaster at Alton Towers or similar then you will know what I mean. There’s something fantastically creepy about it that even if you like rides it will start to make you feel a bit on edge, a bit tense and in this case just waiting for the performance to begin. And I think it’s fair to say that watching the performance itself was like being on a roller coaster – just the nature of the story was dark and twisted, but also had moments of comedy and uplift, and it got very creative.
We were blown away with how powerful the narrative was upheld through only dance and music. It was enlightening, funny, joyful, dark, sad, twisted even – and that’s what made it so good. The stage setting was so clever; they were able to create so many spaces using just one infrastructure the whole way through and the way the dancers moved from one scene to the next was flawless. If you can hold the audiences attention, connect on an emotional level and tell a clear story then you’re doing it right. The McConie Company is definitely one to watch, that’s for sure, and I look forward to seeing more of their work in the future!
So earlier I mentioned PwC and I just wanted to touch on this because I think they are doing something really great. Have you heard of PwC £10 previews? No? PwC provides 500 £10 tickets for each of the first five performances of every production at The Old Vic and anyone can buy them. This is in line with Artistic Director Matthew Warchus’ philosophy that there should be no barriers, financial or otherwise, for people who would otherwise find theatre engaging and exciting. So if you love theatre then do keep an eye out on The Old Vic’s website for upcoming shows and take advantage of the £10 tickets – I am and it’s so worth it!