Roma

Anthony Lo-Guidice’s semi-autobiographical “Roma” maps the making of an individual through experience and revelation, stylishly leaping through the hoops of birth, adolescent discomfort, and the pains of adulthood in a slick and hypnotic dance piece.

The four-person ensemble, including Lo-Guidice himself, effectively recreates the formative experiences of growing up in Sicily and a mother’s alienation in a foreign country. Beginning with a solitary woman in a beautifully evocative orange light, the heat of Sicily gives way to an icy reception by residents of the newly adopted home. The interplay between static and mobile images creates an atmosphere of scrutiny and polarisation. The woman in orange – the apparent newcomer - simultaneously appears seductive and stand-offish and the careful repetition of a shrugging gesture that reappears throughout the piece is both attractive and repulsive to those in bluish costume that circle and lift her through their very different culture.

In a description of the “us and them” motif, the central male is faced with a choice between the two female dancers, his final decision reached only after a visually stunning battle with himself that integrates beautiful floor work and genuinely affecting choreography taking us into the heart of the distracted man. Polysemous images continue to take on layers of meaning through repetition. Portrayals of decisions made, the chiming influence of religious culture, the nature of memory, and the devastating effects of betrayal lend this piece the confusion and mismatchedness of true experience. From the discomfort of choice articulated by the scrumpling of a shirt to the resounding shudders, leaps and lifts of sexual experience, this piece has all outlets of emotion covered.

The musical score seems to mix the English and Italian cornerstones of classical masterpieces; a marriage of cultures finally made, although not without struggle. The programme explains that the work explores “what it means to search and find love in a culture not your own”: a promise that is certainly kept (despite a few moments of slightly unsynchronised ensemble work) in an otherwise precisely executed show of well thought-out physical emotion.

Reviews by Emma-Jane Denly

Duality

★★

Vitamin

★★★★★

Peter Panic

★★★

Thread

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

Roma charts the influence of choreographer Anthony Lo-Giudice’s Italian heritage and his journey through childhood to adulthood, exploring love, loss and deep-rooted traditions of family honour. Roma will transport you to a physical, emotional world of expectation and disappointment.

Most Popular See More

SIX

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Mousetrap

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets