Review: Casanova takes you to Italy and France with extravagant sets and music

Photo: Emma Kauldhar
If you love music, dance, and drama, this is the show for you
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It’s 7:29pm and we’re still running to The Lowry theatre. We make it in the nick of time, the curtains lift as we sit down. 

The ballet starts with a dramatic religious setting as the music crescendos. 

It’s a good few minutes into the performance before the star of the show, Casanova, shows up. The religious setting continues as more drama ensues. 

The music steals the show. Performed by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia they are able to capture the desire and the desperation that Casanova is feeling, from the scenes in the church to the scenes in Italy. 

Photo: Emma Kauldhar

The strings are a big part of what makes the music so soulful as each note holds a tension that is hard to convey through music. 

The costumes are magnificent, with the red cloak Casanova is gifted being my favourite piece of clothing. Its gold detail showcases the privilege Casanova has during that moment. 

Each costume helps set the scene as they move locations a lot. 

Photo: Riku Ito

The set is simple yet very extravagant. 

There are three separate walls that change throughout the production. They open up and they move them closer to each other and the stage. They utilise the small stage of The Lowry. 

They change the main lighting only twice. There’s a fancy chandelier for the ballroom scenes and an incense burner for the religious ones suspended from the ceiling. Both give a different mood. 

Photo: Caroline Holden

The dancing is a piece of art by itself, the moves smooth and precise. 

During some moments, there are multiple things happening which make it hard to look at just one thing. I wish I had many pairs of eyes to watch all of the dancers because each tells a story. 

They all had a purpose despite not being the main characters. 

Casanova himself is one of the best parts of the production. He not only uses his body to tell a story, but his facial expressions have us feeling everything he is portraying. 

Photo: Emma Kauldhar

He has us feeling the tension and electricity between the characters with the combinations of his movement and the music. 

Our eyes are drawn to him because of his stage presence. He exudes his character’s raw sexuality. 

The highlight of the show is the use of stage props for different scenes. Three pillars are used dynamically to give the impression of space, making us feel as if we are in a cavernous ballroom at one point and an intimidating cathedral at another. 

You feel as if you are inside the setting with Casanova. 

Photo: Emma Kauldhar

Do not feel intimidated if you do not follow the story all the way through as it becomes clearer by the end. The story is open to interpretation. 

If you love music, dance, and drama, this is the show for you. 

Casanova is at The Lowry until Saturday 21st May 2022. Tickets are available here.

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