REVIEW - Peaky Blinders at Birmingham Hippodrome still as blindin' as ever - The Bromsgrove Standard

REVIEW - Peaky Blinders at Birmingham Hippodrome still as blindin' as ever

Bromsgrove Editorial 25th May, 2023 Updated: 26th May, 2023   0

I HAVE a confession to make – I am a virgin – a ‘Peaky Blinders’ virgin, that is.

Yes, I am one of that increasingly rare breed of folk who have never seen the TV series – not one episode.

Created by Steven Knight, the BBC drama Peaky Blinders ran for 36 one-hour episodes over six series. The programmes have been sold around the world, garnering numerous prestigious awards, inspiring a trend in men’s head gear and haircuts and apparently putting ‘Arthur’ and ‘Ada’ back into the top ten list of baby names.

Given the scale of influence of the TV series, I was not just intrigued, but a little trepidatious to see Rambert Dance’s interpretation of infamous Birmingham gangland family, The Shelbys.

Would the fact that I knew very little about the subject matter impact on my enjoyment – or otherwise – of the show?

Originally reviewed by Euan Rose when it premiered at The Hippodrome in September 2022, ‘Peaky Blinders – The Redemption of Thomas Shelby’ appears to have lost none of its visual impact; it is a dark, dirty, visceral world with a stark set that relies much on brilliant lighting and spectacular sound.

Throw into that mix stunning visual effects and a bangin’ soundtrack played live and relentlessly and you have all the ingredients for an amazing show.

And it is – from the moment the dance company appear, you are transported into their world as the story of those 36 hour-long episodes is reinterpreted into just two hours.

As expected from Rambert, the dancing was breathtaking – as was the pace.

In some parts there is so much going on that you simply can’t take it in – in others, there is a gentleness and poignancy of movemnt that is sublime, especially in the duets between Thomas Shelby and his love.

And yet, as a non-peaky person, I missed out on the subtleties, the nuances and the shorthand that enabled choreographer Benoit Swan Pouffer to gloss over elements of the story without losing his audience.

This is a show that is unashamedly aimed at Peaky fans and I was glad to have one of those as my companion for the evening so  she could explain who was who and why they were doing whatever to whoever.

But for all that, I loved every second of the performance and concur with Euan Rose’s

original 5* review.

Now I’ve just got to find 36 hours to watch the box set of the TV series!

The Peaky Blinders – The Redemption of Thomas Shelby runs at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday, Mat 27. Click here for times, tickets and more information.

By Johannah Dyer for Euan Rose Review

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