Century-old ballet inspires a riot of invention

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Rob Drummond has quickly established himself as one of Scotland’s most intriguing young writers and performers - with ‘The Wrestling’, ‘Bullet Catch’ and ‘Quiz Show’ packing theatres in the UK and beyond in recent years.

His latest, ‘The Riot of Spring’, is part of a collaboration between the National Theatre of Scotland and the Arches’ Behaviour Festival. While less accessible than his previous work it contains the same fierce intelligence.

The performance offers nothing less than a modern reboot of the dark ballet ‘The Rite of Spring’, encompassing “scenes from a secular Britain”. These movements draw parallels between the riots which famously greeted Stravinsky’s work a century ago with contemporary civil unrest.

Utilising the writer, a lone cellist and a single dancer, the piece takes shape through shifting mediums; from comedy and dance, to film and (a little too much) audience participation.

It’s massively ambitious and, while flawed in places, packs a resonant emotional punch.

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