Stephen Wyatt’s one-act play, The Loves of Mars and Venus; or, Mr. Weaver’s Dramatick Entertainment is based on John Weaver’s original scenario. It brings together baroque music and dance with words to tell the story of John Weaver’s struggle to create a proper dance drama in a theatre world which saw dance as a frivolous (if lucrative) side show. John Weaver’s unique inspiration to combine characters and narrative with expressive gesture and the ultra-fashionable French style of stage dancing was to change the future of ballet. All of this is the subject of our dramatick entertainment.
The magic and excitement of early 18th-century theatre is evoked by an actor portraying Weaver and his stage character Vulcan. Baroque dancers play Venus and Mars, using original 18th-century choreographies with additional choreography by Gilles Poirier. The musical score has been recreated by Evelyn Nallen from scores that would have been familiar to London audiences of the early 1700s, with music by Lully, Purcell, Croft, Paisible, Eccles and Jeremiah Clark. Beautiful costumes, appropriate to the period, have been designed by Chris de Wilde. The whole show is directed by Jenny Miller.
Join us to learn about the tumultuous world of the 18th-century London stage, see at close quarters the virtuosity and sophistication of baroque dance and watch the inimitable John Weaver as he creates the first modern ballet.