Once I found out it the show was choreographed by Mark Godden, the mastermind behind the RWB’s Dracula, I couldn’t wait. And it was just as dark and dramatic as I was hoping for!
The story revolves around Svengali, his Mother, a domineering ballet instructor; and a young woman named Trilby. After discovering his power to mesmerize, Svengali escapes from under Mother’s eye and finds Trilby on the streets, putting her under his spell and making her into the star of his decadent dance performances, enraging Mother and the Morality Police.
Mesmerizing is definitely the word for this show – it’s fabulously dark, full of hypnotic movements and powerful music that pull you along with the story. I was so fixated that a sudden noise partway through the show made me jump out of my seat for a moment (sorry, very forgiving lady sitting next to me!)
I have to give a special mention to Jo-Ann Sundermeier, aka Mother – she played the dominating, powerful part so well without a word that I found myself sitting up straighter in my chair whenever she powered across the stage. I was afraid she’d see my bad posture all the way in the audience and glare!
Svengali is on until October 23rd at the Centennial Concert Hall, and I highly recommend it – you can buy tickets from Ticketmaster here