Production: Sadler’s Wells & Universal Music UK
Directed and Choreographed by Kate Prince
Music by Sting With ZooNation
Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House
Reviewed by Ron Lee, CSP
Does the brilliant choreography support the music of Sting or vice-versa? It depends on your perspective.
A person is forcibly displaced in the world every two seconds as a result of conflict or persecution. In 2022 over 100 million people had been forced from their homes. More than thirty-two million of those people are refugees, and half of them are under eighteen years old. Message In A Bottle is about one family. The community live well and support each other but when civil war breaks out their existence is devastated as the community is broken and homes are destroyed. We follow the fortunes of a father, mother and their three teenage children who face this brutal reality together. They are confronted with impossible choices in order to survive. Along the way they will be separated from each other and have to persevere alone. Inspired by the music of Sting, Message In A Bottle is a universal story of loss, fear, survival, hope and love.
There are 28 Sting songs and the better-known ones include, Desert Rose, If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Don’t Stand So Close To Me, Every Breath You Take, Spirits In The Material World, If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free, Love Is The Seventh Wave, Roxanne and Message In A Bottle.
Kate Prince’s choreography is drawn from almost every form of dance.
She provides a high-energy, multi-form choreographic wonder. It reminds me of the Graeme Murphy and Janet Vernon days of the Sydney Dance Company when the SDC was innovative, entertaining and fun. For those who remember, one of the dancers in this production looks and moves very much like a young Paul Mercurio (Strictly Ballroom) and another looks like Kim Walker.
Message In A Bottle is an exceptional production that stimulates the senses and shows that positive outcomes are possible in this world.