Lucy Popescu’s theatre news: Another America; Dirty Corset; Enchanted April; Persuasion; William Forsythe

Thursday, 7th April — By Lucy Popescu

Another America Park Theatre

Another America is at Park 90

ANOTHER America by Bill Rosenfield is at Park90 until April 30. Inspired by the documentary True Fans, three friends escape the internet and the real world to ride from Venice California across a country divided by ideologies and economics embarking on a pilgrimage to the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield Massachusetts. By the end of their journey, they’ve discovered not just a different version of themselves but of their country as well.

Offering a new twist on Restoration comedy, Dirty Corset is at the Pleasance until April 24. Blending physical theatre and slapstick, this is a silly, sweaty and bawdy story about desire, the struggle for freedom and queer love. Set in the dying embers of the 17th century in the north of England, we follow a company of flea-bitten actors, trying (and failing) to live up to their on-stage personas: Mary Moralless, Isabinda McLovealot and Neil Hasbeen. Over 60 minutes, a bawd, a hopeless romantic and a buffoon fight for our attention.

• A gentle comedy of manners, Matthew Barber’s Enchanted April, adapted from Elizabeth von Armin’s 1922 novel, is at Tower Theatre until April 16. Lotty Wilton and Rose Arnott, two middle-class London housewives, read the same holiday advertisement in The Times. Frustrated with their lives and their husbands, they plan a break that is part adventure, part escape. Joining them to share costs are Lady Caroline Bramble and Mrs Graves. Renting a small castle in Italy, the four women find rejuvenation and common ground in the tranquil beauty of their surroundings and rediscover hope and love.

The English National Ballet are at Sadler’s Wells Theatre until April 10 to honour choreographer, William Forsythe. The programme contrasts ballet classicism and athleticism with the beats of neo-soul and house music. In 2018, Forsythe premiered Playlist (Track 1, 2) as part of Voices of America. It’s been expanded into Playlist (EP), with six music tracks ranging from Khalid and Barry White to Lion Babe, and up to 30 dancers on stage. Blake Works I is a soulful piece for 21 dancers set to seven songs from James Blake’s album The Colour in Anything. Solos, duets and intricate group formations reflect the poetic melodies and words of Blake’s music.

• Jane Austen’s Persuasion is riotously re-imagined for a 21st-century audience, featuring a soundtrack of Frank Ocean, Dua Lipa and Cardi B. This acclaimed production, playing at Alexandra Palace until 30 April, retains the quick wit and scandal of Austen’s novel but switches Regency ballrooms for neon lights. When Frederick Wentworth proposed to Anne Elliot eight years ago, he had no prospects. Persuaded by her family not to accept, Anne has never moved past her first love. But now Wentworth is back: rich, successful and quite the catch.

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