The Olivier-nominated dance/theatre company LOST DOG tour their smash-hit production Juliet and Romeo to Oxford this autumn. Juliet & Romeo opened to packed houses and critical acclaim at a two week run at Battersea Arts Centre in London earlier this year. Broadly based on Shakespeare’s deeply pessimistic teenage love story, this “highly entertaining, extremely amusing and occasionally quite tender evening of theatre and dance” (Times) is performed by Lost Dog’s Artistic Director Ben Duke and Solène Weinachter. This clever, funny production explores contemporary culture’s celebration of youth and how it creates unrealistic expectations around love, sex and relationships. (more…)

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A fascinating and thought-provoking performance coming to The North Wall this week.  Stroke Odysseys is an ambitious piece of dance theatre performed by an ensemble of stroke survivors, supported by professional dancers, singers and musicians.  The show explores intertwined journeys of recovery from stroke and asks what impact the act of storytelling through dance and song may have on the brain’s ability to heal itself.

This new production by award-winning choreographer Ben Duke and composer Orlando Gough is commissioned by Rosetta Life – a charity that changes the way we perceive the frail and disabled.  The performance is supported by an education programme of talks and workshops led by experts including dancers, musicians, neurologists and stroke survivors.

Venue:  The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade, OX2 7JN
Performance:  Thursday, 25th October 7.30pm
Tickets:  £16 (concessions £14)  Book online here, or call the box office on: 01865 319450

Lost Dog was originally formed to create work that crosses the borderline between theatre and dance, and Ben Duke’s one man response to Milton’s epic poem Paradise Lost is a fascinating multimedia hybrid that fuses genres, morphing between verbal story telling and physical theatre, stand-up comedy and dance.

The space is defined by a circular white tarpaulin floor with a single wooden chair. In a nondescript grey work suit Duke shambles in with a well thumbed paperback of Milton. His self-deprecating gently shambolic opening apologia addressing the audience is comically at odds with the apparent grandiosity of his ambition, and sets up a portrayal of God refreshingly and provocatively different from the notion of all powerful deity; initially diffident, uncertain, fumbling and having second thoughts. (more…)

Returning to The North Wall Lost Dog Dance presents Paradise Lost (lies unopened beside me).  Milton’s epic poem is brought to life in this one-man dance theatre adaptation, featuring words, dance and an electric soundtrack.  Tens of characters and tens of thousands of lines of poetry relayed in one hour by one man who promises to dance the complicated bits

Ben Duke tells the epic story of the banishment of Satan from Heaven, the creation of Earth, the temptation of Adam and Eve and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden through words, music and dance. By himself. Paradise Lost follows Lost Dog’s previous literary adaptation, Like Rabbits, which was based on the Virginia Woolf short story Lappin and Lapinova, and was devised by Ben Duke in collaboration with Lucy Kirkwood (Chimerica). (more…)

Male choreographers seem currently to be looking to Virginia Woolf for story lines; later this year Wayne McGregor will be presenting his full length Woolf Works for the Royal Ballet, but right now at a much smaller scale Lost Dog is touring Like Rabbits, a collaboration between choreographer Ben Duke and playwright Lucy Kirkwood based on Woolf’s delicate and dark short story Lappin and Lapinova. This fifty minute two hander performed by Duke and Ino Riga updates Woolf’s story of a relationship in which the fanciful playing out of the roles of King Rabbit and his queen by a newlywed couple gradually give way to a darker reality in their marriage. (more…)

A forthcoming chance at The North Wall to see an award winning dance theatre company for the first time in Oxford.   Artistic Director of Lost Dog Ben Duke collaborates with multi-award winning playwright Lucy Kirkwood on a new work Like Rabbits inspired by Virginia Woolf’s short story Lappin and Lapinova.  In this quietly devastating new work for two performers, a man and a woman meet and have sex and fall deeply in love. Each night the lovers slip away from their real lives into a world that exists only in their shared imagination: a world that belongs to them, in which tax returns and shopping lists and commuting do not exist; a world in which they are not their normal selves, but King of the Rabbits and Queen of the Hares. But what begins as a game soon becomes a battleground, and the couple hurtle towards a tragedy of the saddest, and most ordinary kind. (more…)