The Cholmondeleys and the Featherstonehaughs

This article is from 2008.

The Cholmondeleys and the Featherstonehaughs

Dance of Death

It’s hardly damning the cast of Dancing On Your Grave to call them a handful of dead-beats. Created by the veteran choreographer Lea Anderson for members of her two cult dance companies, The Cholmondeleys (pronounced ‘chum-leez’) and The Featherstonehaughs (‘fan-shaws’), this deliberately small-scale, cabaret-style production is about a five-piece music hall troupe on a seemingly endless tour. The catch is that the quintet happens to be deceased.

Grave promises to be ghoulish good fun with plenty of inventive flair, a lot of which is down to Anderson. A contemporary of Matthew Bourne (who was a founding member of The Featherstonehaughs), she’s been steeped in visual art and alternative music her entire career. The show’s premise, she says, is about ‘what happens when a music hall act, complete with songs and dancing and tableaux, bases itself entirely on death.’ And what is she learning from the work? ‘That when I do death, it gets lively.’

Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, 4–25 Aug (not 7, 14, 21), 3pm, £11–£13 (£10–£12). Previews 1–3 Aug, £8 (£7).

Dancing on Your Grave

  • 3 stars

Deliberately small-scale, cabaret-style production from the cult dance companies the Cholmondeleys and the Featherstonehaughs, with veteran choreographer Lea Anderson creating a story about a deceased music hall troupe on never-ending tour. As part of an evening of cabaret it would be stunning, but it struggles to make a…

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