A WORD FROM MATTHEW
“Just call it a play without words for now.” Those were my words to the National Theatre when they asked me to create a piece of theatre in 2002 It was a chance for me to experiment, to create a completely original piece of work. Play Without Words has become the perfect title because it has other meanings; there’s so much you can say without words.
Now celebrating our 25th anniversary, our company wanted to bring back the production that next to Swan Lake is probably our most critically acclaimed piece (and in my opinion the most unique and stylish!)
Set in Chelsea, London in 1965 Play Without Words explores the free-loving swinging 60s and its darker, seductive side. We’ve created something that’s sexy, chic, suave and full of the trade-mark style and drama I hope you expect from a New Adventures production. In a Chelsea home, where only the most beautiful people live, an urbane master and his beautiful fiancée welcome their new manservant, Prentice. What follows will change their lives forever - and prove a surprising truth about love and the struggle for power, territory and sexual domination.
The story was inspired by several 1960s films, most notably The Servant, in which the class system is challenged when a servant turns the tables on his arrogant employer. I’m delighted to announce that two of our original cast members Saranne Curtin and Richard Winsor (who starred in The Car Man, Swan Lake and Dorian Gray and Swan Lake 3D and recently made his film debut as Tomas in StreetDance 3D) are returning to the show. I’m sure you’ll agree that I have an outstanding, versatile, beautiful and sexy company combined with a very cool jazz score makes this show a dazzling dance-theatre work.
I look forward to seeing you soon at Play Without Words.
WORLD PREMIERE 23 Aug 2002 at the National Theatre
This unique collaboration between the National Theatre and New Adventures opened in 2002 and was revived in 2003–4 at the National Theatre (first performance 10 December 2003). A UK Tour followed and played Norwich, Edinburgh, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Manchester, High Wycombe, Birmingham, Woking, Bromley and Plymouth. 2005 International Tour dates included Tokyo (5 weeks), Brooklyn (3 weeks), Los Angeles (8 weeks) and Moscow.
As part of NEW ADVENTURES' 25th Anniversary Celebrations, the 2012 Revival was first performed on Friday 20 July at the Leicester Curve then 4 weeks at Sadler’s Wells, and finally Norwich Theatre Royal.