The Expected

Direction and Choreography

A Rough Fiction and London Arts Orchestra co-production

Wilton’s Music Hall, July 2018

Variations on Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht

Based on the poem by Richard Demel

Composed by Edward Farmer

Directed and choreographed by Simon Pittman

Devised by the company

A 100-year love story, 100-years after Women’s Suffrage, told through a blend of dance-theatre and live music.  

In Verklärte Nacht two lovers meet in a moonlit forest, one carrying a dark secret that threatens to tear them apart. Much has changed since 1899 when Schoenberg was inspired by Dehmel’s narrative poem about love and motherhood to compose his symphonic poem for strings. Today, 100-years after Women’s Suffrage, The Expected re-imagines both words and music, creating a new take on this dramatic love story, and exploring society’s shifting relationship to gender, equality and parenthood.

Composer Edward Farmer (BBC, London Arts Orchestra) re-imagines Schoenberg’s string sextet taking the musical ideas as the starting point for a piece of orchestra-theatre blending live and recorded music, dance, and visual storytelling. Musicians and performers interact and move together on stage in intimate duets and ensemble movement. Simon Pittman (National Theatre of Scotland / Frantic Assembly) stages this multifaceted love story that explores multiple variations of the poem’s original narrative.

‘A sense of imaginative possibility that is impossible not to embrace. Uniformly excellent, Rough Fiction push the boundaries between movement and the spoken word’ (What’s On Stage)

‘An orchestra of fine musicians… Edward Farmer conducts with a discriminating ear for orchestral sonority and pace’ (Evening Standard)