The choreographer spoke to Love London Love Culture’s Emma Clarendon about creating the choreography for Emma Rice’s Wise Children, playing at the Old Vic Theatre before embarking on a UK tour. 

Mike Shepherd (Peregrine) in rehearsal for Wise Children . Photo by Steve Tanner..jpg
(c) Steve Tanner. 

Thanks so much for talking to me. Could you explain a bit more about what Wise Children is about? Wise Children is about twins Nora and Dora chance who are music hall performers in south London. It charts their lives from 1911 to 1989 . It’s funny, sad, romantic and tragic but full of joy!

How did you become involved with the production?I’ve worked with Emma Rice for nine years mainly choreographing for her shows but occasionally performing – so when Emma asked me to perform and choreograph for her new company! I jumped at the chance.

Omari Douglas (Showgirl Nora) in rehearsal for Wise Children. Photo by Steve Tanner..jpg
(c)Steve Tanner. 

Was there anything that stood out in the story that you wanted to bring out in the choreography? Well historically we needed to make sure the music hall numbers were fun and in keeping with the world we are creating – we also have a chorus that uses a theatrical sign language which threads its way through the show as well.

What made you want to be involved with Wise Children? It’s Emma Rice’s first show with her new company and Angela Carter is a wonderful writer and I love her books – that’s an opportunity too good to miss.

Omari Douglas (Showgirl Nora) and Melissa James (Showgirl Dora) in rehearsal for Wise Children. Photo by Steve Tanner.jpg
(c) Steve Tanner. 

Have there been any challenges with creating the choreography for the show? Yes being in it and choreographing has been challenging but tremendous fun as well as learning lines, it’s been keeping me on my toes!

What can audiences expect from the production? Fun, family, sex and joy!

By Emma Clarendon

For more information about the UK tour of Wise Children visit: https://wisechildren.co.uk/. To book tickets for the Old Vic run (until the 10th November) click here

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