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Ten years after its premiere at the National Theatre, Matthew Bourne’s sultry, sexy dance drama is as dangerously ambiguous as ever.

Inspired by Joseph Losey’s 1963 film noir The Servant, it’s a wordless, moody evocation of the period played out against Terry Davies’ atmospheric, jazz-based score and with each of the main characters played simultaneously by two or three dancers.

It’s an ingenious device which adds psychological complexity to the power struggle between upper class Anthony and his new manservant, the sexual encounter (in triplicate) of Anthony’s classy fiancée with a bit of rough, and his own erotic seduction by his provocative, newly hired housemaid.

Lez Brotherston’s tilting set embraces Anthony’s pristine Chelsea flat, a gay pub and a dark, wet street overshadowed by the Post Office Tower in this sometimes witty, often sinister and always eloquently choreographed account of role reversal in the swinging '60s.

Until 5 August, £12- £50
Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue EC1R 4TN
Tube | Angel

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Matthew Bourne's Play Without Words at Sadler's Wells – review
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