Thursday, October 6, 2022

Ugly Beautiful: Throwing Shapes

On Saturday, my friend Louisa and I escaped into Birmingham to catch the amazing Rambert production at Birmingham Hippodrome: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, a two-hour dance theatre spectacle.  We were chauffer driven by my father-in-law, who kindly offered to take us due to rail strikes.  The city was in gridlock.  We left at 1pm and made it just in time for the two minute call prior to the show's 2.30 matinee performance.  We live just 12 miles away.

At the time of booking, information on the production (adapted for the stage by the show's creator, Stephen Knight) was scant and I'd only caught a couple of snippets on TV prior to the show, so didn't really know what to expect.  Directed and choreographed by Rambert's Artistic Director Benoit Swan Pouffer, it was thrilling; athletic dancing accompanied by a live band on stage, the eclectic Peaky Blinders soundtrack and overlayed with excerpts of dialogue from the series.  Brummie poet and Peaky cast member Benjamin Zephaniah provided narration.  

We were totally swept away by the athleticism of the dancers and the heady atmosphere (or was that the wine?)  Although photos within the auditorium were strictly prohibited, the show was so utterly absorbing, I couldn't have taken my eyes off it for a second in any event.  

I was mesmerised by the incredible South African dancer, Musa Motha, who lost his leg to bone cancer at the age of 11.  Appearing on stage and dancing with the aid of a crutch, he was inspirational!   Here he is briefly sharing his story.

Beautiful News | Cancer robbed him of a leg, but not his will to dance - YouTube

Through art, once again, the dark heart and subject matter of this story was transformed into something beautiful.  The performers received a well-deserved standing ovation.  Unsurprisingly, the tour has been a huge success and further dates have now been added for 2023.  Here's a little taster, filmed on location at the Black Country Living Museum.

Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby - extended trailer - YouTube

Post show, we were hell bent on making the most of our time and headed off in the direction of China Town (where I took my one and only iphone photo).  Cocktails were consumed.

On Sunday I was working, photographing a local christening and after party.   Check out the shoes!!

Needless to say I've been busy editing photos.  

Here they are, winging their way to my client as we speak.

In other news, we had yet another domestic mouse disturbance.  Lotte, if you're reading this, if you're going to give me a living gift, please contain it.  Don't allow it to check into lodgings behind the freezer.

The Stranger Things photo shoot is gaining traction and has now been accepted by five publications (four online and one in print), which is quite exciting.

I will leave you with a glimpse of the flowers from the bridal bouquet, which in my opinion, grow even more beautiful and strange, throwing shapes to rival dancers as they fade.

See you soon! 


  1. the peaky blinders dance show sounds fabulous! thank you for the links..... glad you had some cocktails afterwards :-D
    and congratulations to getting published 5 times!! this is exiting indeed! can´t wait to see the photos......
    mesmerizing shots of the wilting bouquet.........
    ps: have fun painting your picture frames ;-D

    1. Thanks Beate. Cocktails are very important on such occasions as I know you will appreciate! ;-) xxx

  2. I'm thrilled about your Stranger Things shoot, how exciting! You must keep us posted!
    I bet the Peaky Blinders ballet production was amazing to behold, good on G's dad to drop you off, too. He's a gem. I love Benjamin Zephaniah, I've just started his autobiography and I can't recommend it highly enough. I think Musa Motha was one of the dancers in the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony, I was transfixed by his talent.
    I love your faded blooms, they're beautiful. The Christening photo is so sweet and would make a wonderful greetings card for little girl.
    C'mon Lotte, you need to earn those Dreamies! xxx

    1. Thanks Vix. I shall have to get hold of a copy of Benjamin's autobiography. He's brilliant isn't he?
      I think you're right about Musa being one of the Commonwealth Games dancers. His disability doesn't hold him back in the slightest.
      Lotte loves to demonstrate her individuality! :-D xxx

  3. Judging from the that taster, I definitely get that you were totally transfixed by that performance. I'll have to look out Musa Motha as well.
    Well done on your Stranger Things shoot being accepted by 5 publications. Having seen a couple of tasters, I'm not at all surprised by your success!
    Your photos of the faded bouquet are fantastic, by the way! xxx

    1. Thank Ann! I have two left feet and a dodgy lower back, so I'm in awe of talented dancers! xxx

  4. I have never really watched Peaky Blinders, but the dance version sounds fascinating. That thumb drive is so pretty! I love wilting flowers too! Excited to see the Stranger Things shoot!

    1. The dance was incredible. Highly recommended!
      I still have the flowers - they're outside in a vase! :-D x

  5. Hello Claire, how wonderful that your were able to enjoy a theatre trip followed by a wee drinky poo. I shall have to have a look at the dancer Musa - what an inspiring story. Thanks for the teaser with the beautiful flowers. Gorgeous photos! I feel like I can't wait to see your Stranger Things shoot, but I know that good things come to those who wait :) xXx

    1. Hello Lulu, Thank you! I can't wait either. Publication has been brought forward a little, so will be in time for Halloween. Sadly, it's looking like we might have to wait a little longer for the video - the videographer's been snowed under and is still working on it. xxx


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