Return to Heaven, Mark Bruce Company at Frome Merlin

Return to Heaven with Mark Bruce Company

CHOREOGRAPHER and dance theatre maker Mark Bruce made his recent reputation with a series of works based on familiar and classical stories – Frankenstein, The Odyssey and Macbeth.

His new creation, Return to Heaven, is an original piece, a homage to horror and gothic exploration films, and love. As atmospheric as the earlier works – thanks to set designer Phil Eddolls and lighting designer Guy Hoare – it is terrifying and mesmerising in equal measure. Dorothee Brodruck’s costumes ooze menace.

Written, choreographed and directed by Mark Bruce, it’s confusing too …

Don’t look for a narrative but instead watch the terrific dancing from the six-strong cast, immerse yourself in the fascinating music and feel the visceral power. Eleanor Duval returns, this time with Dane Hurst, Jordi Calpe Serrats, Carina Howard, Sharol Mackenzie and Chris­topher Thomas.

With tracks from Penderecki, PJ Harvey, Harry Belafonte, Arvo Part, Nick Cave and Mark Lanegan, as well as by Mark Bruce himself, Return to Heaven sways between brutalism and romance, as spacemen and heavily armed soldiers compete with ghastly apparitions and mythic Egyptian gods.

It might be about exploring, or grave-robbing, or love conquering all. It’s your choice in this extraordinary and powerful piece of dance theatre, which now leaves its Frome home for a UK tour that takes in Bristol, Poole and also the atmospheric Wilton’s Music Hall in London.


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