Review Round Up: Woolf Works, Royal Opera House

We round up the reviews for Wayne McGregor’s ballet, playing at the Royal Opera House until the 23rd March.

Broadway World: ***** “Dramaturg Uzma Hameed does a phenomenal job of tying the three diverse sections into a dramatic whole, interleaving the biographical and literary elements and giving this story ballet remarkably effective emotional underpinnings. Ferri is the star on stage and is a delight to watch, rolling back the years with an engaging and, at times, tear-jerking performance. McGregor, though, deserves the lion’s share of plaudits here for a highly memorable show which almost demands a second viewing and resonates long after the walk down Floral Street.”

Evening Standard: **** “Time holds the key to Wayne McGregor’s masterful ballet, drawn from the life and work of Virginia Woolf. The past, softly layered with memories. The present, crowded with possibilities. The future, stretching out hopelessly.”

The Guardian: **** “The result is deeply considered and full of rich ideas and imagery, as well as the inevitable confusions and missed connections that come with experimental form (Hameed’s programme notes and synopsis are well worth reading).”

The Stage: **** ” It’s an absolute heartbreaker of a piece – and Ferri imbues the role with the experiences, loves and losses of decades.”

Culture Whisper: **** “Here Max Richter’s score is full of melancholy drawn-out strings; McGregor’s choreography is delicate, the narrative impressionistic but clear enough.”

The Independent: **** “In Wayne McGregor’s Woolf Works, Virginia Woolf’s life and her subjects overlap, sharing the same space. It’s a layered, haunting ballet, with an elegiac central performance by Alessandra Ferri.”

The Telegraph: **** “The great dancer elevates much of this revival of Wayne McGregor’s elegiac, pensive 2015 triptych (but not the maddening middle section).”

London Unattached: “The operatic scale of Woolf Works and McGregor’s ambition is still very apparent. Ferri’s performance is well-honed but still fresh. The score is in places too cinematic – it feels sort of manipulative, but it is novel and daring and I certainly haven’t heard anything like it at the Opera House before. I still remember people talking about Woolf Works from 2015 and regretted not seeing it. Now that I have seen it, I can assure you it is not to be missed.”

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