Martin Creed: Ballet Work No 1020 (3 stars)

This article is from 2010.

Martin Creed: Ballet Work No 1020

Oh, do try harder, disgruntled of Sadler’s Wells

Three stars. That’s what Martin Creed’s getting, although I suspect he was aiming for one, and some outrage. Three stars because there are a couple of interesting dance moments, a few good laughs, and some of the musical numbers are quite good, although the one called ‘Nothing’ (lyric: “nothing”, repeated) grates a bit. Oh, and there’s a film screen, showing some of the Turner Prize winner’s earlier works. Sometimes people vomit on it. Sometimes they pull down their pants and shit, and then Martin sings a song called ‘Fuck Off’ (lyric: “fuck off”, repeated). The Traverse audience applaud politely. At times, there’s something fascinating about limiting such clearly skilled dancers to a series of simple exercises built on the five basic ballet positions, and trained musicians to the basic scales, and in a gallery, as an installation, this series of anti-aesthetic anti-statements might (ironically) galvanise. However, in a theatre, this just isn’t entertaining, thought-provoking, or shocking enough.

Traverse Theatre, 228 1404, until 15 Aug, times vary, £17–£19 (£6–£13).

Martin Creed: Ballet Work No. 1020

  • 3 stars

Turner Prize-winning artist Martin Creed's funny and thoughtful piece for five dancers, with film and a live band featuring the artist himself. A sell-out hit in London, the work now comes to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for eight performances only. Based around the five positions in ballet and the notes of the musical…


1. John Charles19 Sep 2010, 9:31pm1 star Martin Creed: Ballet Work No 1020 Report

One star for this rubbish -- if only for the dancers and musicians. Martin Creed's ego overwhelms this production. He keeps asking the audience to like him -- no need, since he loves himself far more than anybody else could. The images of bodily functions would have been outrageous in the 1960s, out of date when Creed was at college in the 80s, and are history in 2010. No credit to the state-funded Sadler's Wells backing this.

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