The Evil Imp


It would appear that the awards people have been at it again. This curmudgeonly group of tweed wearing, tea drinking, scone scoffing individuals, smelling every so slightly of urine, have once again put their loafer covered feet firmly into their denture laden mouths.

This time it’s the Olivier Awards and the septic group of individuals responsible for handing out said gongs. Contrary to popular belief these awards are not in honour of Olivia Newton John but Laurence Olivier, noted thesp and, at the time of writing, no longer alive.

But for a different vowel and and the misplacing of an “r” these awards could have been a very different affair and a lot more entertaining.

So what is it about this year’s prizes that have ruffled our collective feathers so? The winner of the “Best New Dance Production” was Pina Bausch and company for both ‘Café Müller’ and ‘Rite of Spring’. So far so not at all very interesting. The Olivier awards are serious, Ms Bausch is serious and the people who go to see Ms Bausch are very very serious.

Here in TheLab™ we likes us some Pina. If you’ve never seen ‘Nelken’ then you really should even though it lasts for two hours and there is no interval. But that’s Ms Bausch for you.

The problem here is that ‘Café Müller’ was made in 1975 and ‘Rite of Spring’ took its first bow in 1978. Both works have a combined age of 65 years. In contemporary dance terms these works are up there with the dinosaurs. Even if the company was touring with the original cast they would still not be, nor will they ever be again, “new”.

They’re old, very very old, much like the crusty old kippers who decided to give these works the “new production” award. We would like to suggest that awards judges drag their addled, broken bodies out of London and get as far away as is humanly possible from Sadler’s Wells Theatre.

It’s not at all clear what’s going on down there in the big smoke but it might be a good idea to have the water checked out or scrape the paint off the walls and have it analysed in TheLab™ (ho ho ho, Ed!) for traces of lead.

Either that or pull your heads out of your backsides and take a look around at the wider world of dance where there is a lot of genuine “new” work on show.

When contacted for comment the Olivier Awards denied they smelled of urine at all, because who would admit such a thing!