Rambert Dance in Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby

Rambert are a dance company like no other. They are innovative, creative, and dare to dance outside the box to create shows that are like nothing you have seen before. Rambert has been thinking and dancing differently for nearly 100 years, and this show is no different. 

Collaborating with a franchise such as Peaky Blinders can be a daunting one. With a solid fan base, it’s easy to get something wrong or disappoint an audience. But by blending this incredible dance company with the creative team behind one of the most intense, shows on TV, you create something that is beyond incredible. You create something that is jaw dropping, in your face, and beautiful all at the same time. 

This brand new show, written in collaboration with Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight and Rambert choreographer/director Benoit Swan Pouffer, combines the Birmingham gangsters with elegant dancing. Titled The Redemption of Thomas Shelby, this show is both a prequel and a sequel as you see Tommy and the gang from the war trenches, to the romance between Tommy and Grace, to the whiskey-fuelled fight scenes. Each part of the show blends the iconic characters with beautiful dancing, loud music, and visual effects that will live you open mouthed in awe. 

The show uses a blend of live and recorded music throughout to tell the story. From Benjamin Zephaniah’s narration, to excerpts from the show itself, the narration allows even the most unaware audience member understand this story of our gangster family. Teaming this with a soundtrack that contains brilliant rock songs from the likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Radiohead, and The Last Shadow Puppets, you feel the music hit you as much as the dancing when the opening to ‘Devil Inside Me’ by Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes starts playing. With a host of visual effects that appear like magic, you are constantly having a mental battle between the sounds and visuals in all the best, possible ways. 

Guillaume Quéau portrayed the title role. Giving the attitude that Cillian Murphy brought to the iconic role, but blending it brilliantly with moves that both floated and commanded the stage. For a dancer to be on stage for the majority of the show, it not only shows talent, but perseverance and stamina like no other. Joining him was Dylan Tedaldi as Arthur, the perfect drunken sidekick that swerved and danced across the stage as he took swings at enemies and stumbled against the bar. 

I couldn’t keep my eyes off Simone Damberg Würtz and Musa Motha who played Polly and Barney. Simone embodied the character as Polly so perfectly, giving attitude as the matriarch of the Shelby family, whilst Musa’s dancing as Barney blew me away. To be able to dance as an amputee, with crutches and move in such a mesmerising and beautiful way is nothing short of inspirational. 

Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby is honestly like nothing I have seen before. It’s a gig, a dance show, and a piece of theatre all rolled into one to create something unique and incredibly special. You feel enveloped in the drama, the fights, and the romance of the show and have to remember to breathe as you are whisked away with the pace of what you are watching. It's a show for fans of the Peaky Blinders franchise, and a show for those that have never had the pleasure of seeing it either. Rambert have created something that is a fitting tribute and also something that is beyond special. 

Rambert Dance in Peaky Blinders: The Redemption of Thomas Shelby is on at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton until 11/2/2023 before continuing on a UK Tour. For more info and tickets, please follow the links above. 

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