Re-opening tonight at the Lyric Hammersmith is Aurelia's Oratorio which is back by popular demand and still glowing from its fond reviews from its first run this time last year. Described as "a magical whirl of visual illusions and trickery", the show is performed by Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter, Aurelia Thierree and directed by her mother Victoria Thierree Chaplin and is a glimpse into the scruffy world behind the footlights of theatre where disbelief is not just suspended but taken by neck and shaken about roughly.
Part actress, part illusionist and occasional dancer, Aurelia Thierree carries the show, and with the help of a few puppets, some twitchy red curtains and a chest of drawers with a mind of its own, she takes the audience through surreal scenes, some fantastic, some fun, some macabre and some disturbing. She also does a good turn on the corde de lisse, the aerial acrobatics that are done on long dangling ropes. You know, the thing that crops up in one of the BBC idents, where the women in white roll down from the ceiling on long red sashes and swing around a bit.
In other news, the Lyric Hammersmith has announced today that they are to have an autumn/winter season of "innovative, physical story-telling" and won't feature any traditionally written plays at all. Physical theatre favourites Frantic Assembly will be collaborating with swear-word friendly Mark Ravenhill for Pool (No Water) which is inspired by the true story of an artist who fell to her death in an LA swimming pool.
Kafka, aerial acrobatics and Nick Cave are lined up too as the Cavester collaborates with aerial artist Gisli Orn Gardarsson (last seen flying around on a trapeze in Nights at the Circus) for a new adaptation of Metamorphoses. And the world premiere of Rona Monroe’s adaptation of the children’s classic Watership Down, one of the theatre’s most ambitious projects to date.
Lyric Hammersmith's Chief Executive David Farr told The Stage:
Dude. That's a season of death in LA, men turning into cockroaches, rabbits at war and Nick bloody Cave. We can sense the danger - and we're looking forward to it.
For more information and to book tickets for Aurelia's Oratorio, go to the Lyric Hammersmith website here.