The Bournemouth Echo review Message in a Bottle in Southampton...

May 23, 2023

So often in the theatre world, more is more ­- elaborate backdrops; brightly-coloured, sparkling costumes; cleverly-moving scenery and special effects. However sometimes there is beauty in the more stripped back productions - which is exactly the case with Message in a Bottle.

The costumes are simple, but effective, the set is minimal – but this production doesn't need all the glitz and glamour, the star of the show here is the dancing.

Directed and choreographed by triple-Olivier Award nominee Kate Prince - also responsible for West End hits Some Like it Hip Hop, Into the Hoods and the choreography for Everybody's Talking About Jamie ­- the two-hour production is entirely based on the iconic songs of 17-time Grammy Award winning artist Sting.

Featuring the incredible talents of ZooNation: The Kate Prince Company, we follow the fortunes of three siblings after an attack on their peaceful village sets them on a journey for survival in this production by Sadler's Wells and Universal Music UK, co-produced with Birmingham Hippodrome and The Lowry, Salford.

With no spoken word, the story unfolds purely through the expressive language of a mixture of dance styles including contemporary and hip hop - with even a nod to the jive and Charleston thrown in - in tune with the powerful lyrics of Sting's music, including Every Breath You Take, Roxanne, Fields of Gold and Walking On The Moon.

At times joyful, at others desperate, this moving story hits home as we watch the characters flee from war, paying to board a boat taking them overseas. So poignant in today's world, but a scenario which feels, sadly, as if it will always remain relevant.

However the story is almost an aside - so lost was I in the dancing. The choreography here is outstanding. Power and athleticism are interspersed with the light and shade of such beautiful expression from the dancers. The partner work is particularly exquisite.

There are moments when you'll want to clap and sing along, and others where you can hear a pin drop as the audience is utterly spellbound by the emotion unfolding on stage.

But the overall feeling is one of pure, uplifting joy and hope.

Just stunning, I could watch it again and again.

(c) Bournemouth Daily Echo by Emma Joseph


May 18, 2023

Amazon Music has today announced further details on the ways they will be amplifying and scaling The Ivors 2023 as a part of their multi-year global deal, including the first ever livestream from the event. The ceremony, which will see the pioneering songwriter, Sting, presented with the top Award will also a feature a special live performance by the iconic superstar...

May 18, 2023

Sting says musicians face "a battle" to defend their work against the rise of songs written by artificial intelligence. "The building blocks of music belong to us, to human beings," he told the BBC. "That's going to be a battle we all have to fight in the next couple of years: Defending our human capital against AI." His comments come after a number of songs have used artificial intelligence to "clone" famous artists' vocals. Full interview here.