A Streetcar Named Desire (5 stars)

Incredibly dynamic, exhilarating and edgy production from Scottish Ballet

A Streetcar Named Desire

Early on in Scottish Ballet’s audacious adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire it hits home just how persuasively Tennessee Williams’ play has been adapted for non-verbal storytelling. Director Nancy Meckler and choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa have pared back the scenario to a series of set pieces that renders the power struggle between faded Southern belle Blanche DuBois (beautifully performed on this occasion by Eve Mutso) and her brutish brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski (a sensuous Tama Barry) even more powerfully than the iconic 1951 film. Their violent final showdown is particularly disturbing, while the opening up of Blanche’s backstory to reveal the tragic suicide of her young husband and the inspired addition of a testosterone-fuelled scene in the bowling alley further accentuate our understanding of the central characters’ motivations.

Apart from one very striking sequence in which Blanche begins her descent into drink and fantasy there’s very little use of classical ballet technique. Rather, Ochoa’s much freer range of movement complements Peter Salem’s jazz-infused, at times harsh and discordant score, to create an incredibly dynamic, exhilarating and edgy production.

Touring Scotland until Sat 12 May. Seen at Edinburgh Festival Theatre, Fri 20 Apr

Scottish Ballet: A Streetcar Named Desire

Tennessee Williams' classic play is fused with dance from Scottish Ballet, featuring a jazzy score by Peter Salem.


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