Review: Message in a Bottle at the Lowry is ‘extraordinary’

Message In a Bottle, the extraordinary dance show at the Lowry, captivates audiences with its beautiful storytelling through world-class dance and iconic Sting songs.

Message In Bottle dances onto the stage at the Lowry this weekend with a one-of-a-kind dance show that brings the songs of Sting to life.

Message in a Bottle tells the story of a family that live a carefree idyllic lifestyle in a village that is eventually turned upside down when their nation is thrust into a civil war.

The show is advertised as one family: three stories, and it is the stories of three teenage children, Leto, Mati and Tana, their lives are uprooted and the audience follows their journey as their family is ripped apart by circumstances outside their
control and must try to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world.

Message in a Bottle is advertised as “The Extraordinary Dance Show” and with the twenty-one-strong dance company the show more than lives up to its name.

Delighting audiences with its unique use of special effects, videography and shadows paired with world-class dancing with the iconic songs of Sting make for a  show that is both vibrant and moving that never stops from beginning to end.

Though there is no dialogue, the incredibly liquid smooth and emotive dance moves give voice to the very real threat communities face with displacement and human trafficking and have no difficulty in delivering the narrative.

The show (Directed and Choreographed by Kate Prince) combines this message with an impeccable set design (by Ben Stones) and vibrant costumes (by Anna Fleischle) that when paired with the music of Sting, provides a great example of how to tell a story without the need for spoken words.

The show utilises many of Sting’s famous songs throughout his career from his work with The Police like “Roxanne” to his solo songs like “Desert Rose” and “Fields of Gold”.

The show takes his songs and gives them new life, and weaves them seamlessly into the narrative, “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” becomes a harrowing example of the horrors of human trafficking.

While “Every Breath You Take” is turned into a number that shows the characters struggling at a refugee internment camp with stoic overseer-like guards, with impressive use of props such as prison bars held by guards which divide the three
protagonists during the performance.

And the song “Inshallah” shows the characters trying to find a new life with a boat journey with breathtaking choreography and visuals that impressively brings the seat to the stage.

Message In a Bottle provides audiences a wonderful visual and emotional display of dance that shines a light on the issues of forced displacement and human trafficking and the hardships of those affected by it, whilst it also keeps an underlying human message to keep moving forward no matter the horrors that life throws at you.

You can get your tickets to Message in a Bottle at the Lowry, which is on from Thu 27 July – Sat 29 July by clicking here

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