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WOS Radio: Matthew Bourne reflects at Play Without Words Q&A

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Last night (25 July) over 100 Whatsonstage.com theatregoers headed to Sadler’s Wells for our Outing to Play Without Words, which is devised, directed and choreographed by Matthew Bourne. A few had seen the original version of the show when it was at the National Theatre in 2002 whilst for others, myself included, it was our first experience of Bourne’s work.

Play Without Words is inspired by Joseph Losey's 1963 film The Servant, based on a book of the same name by Robin Maugham. Chelsea, 1965. Behind the privileged façade of domestic social order lies a struggle for power, territory and sexual domination. In a suave Chelsea home an urbane master and his beautiful fiancée welcome their new manservant, Prentice. What follows will change their lives forever.

Following the show we had a Q&A session with Matthew Bourne himself. He told us about the celebrations that are happening this year for the 25th anniversary of his company New Adventures, including a new version of Sleeping Beauty that will be coming to Sadler’s Wells later in the year.

He also spoke about the origins of Play Without Words, including how in the original production at the National the last scene only had the music written for it on the day, as well as discussing the differences between and actor who dances and a dancer who acts.

We also had a very well prepared question about class barriers in Bourne’s work, and Bourne spoke about his use of three actors playing each role. Finally, an old classmate of Bourne’s asked what had got him where he is now.

To listen to the Q&A, which was hosted by Terri Paddock, click the 'play' button below; or to subscribe and download from iTunes, click here.

As always, please feel free to email your comments and thoughts about the show, as well as any of your favourite insights from last night to [email protected] and don't forget to tweet using #wosouting! We would love to hear from you.

- Rosie Bannister


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