Review: Woolf Works

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Philip Browning, Senior Copywriter at Moving Brands reviews one of the Royal Opera House’s new works. Unfortunately all tickets have now been sold out, but see here for a sneak peak into a rehearsal session with Edward Watson, who plays lead character Septimus in the first ballet based on Virginia Woolf’s Mrs.Dalloway. 

I’m not good with things that don’t have words, so it was a relief that ‘Woolf Works’, The Royal Ballet’s new 3-part piece, inspired by the life of Virginia Woolf, begins with the only recording of her voice. Unfortunately, no one nowadays speaks in such clipped and restrained tones, which serve paradoxically to make emotion more overwhelming. And this is an emotional piece, although the focus throughout on the tragic (her mental instability and the gravitational pull of suicide), failed to convey why we read Woolf today – her irresistible love of social life and her intelligence – as unexpected and darting as the laser beams that ping off the patrician tiers of the Opera House.

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