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Charlotte Rampling “Neck of the Woods”

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I have had the opportunity to work several times with the beautiful, charming and talented Charlotte Rampling in Paris. Ms. Rampling is an astonishing actress with incredible range whose iconic turns in Georgy Girl, The Night Porter and The Damned were the beginning of a career which led to many acclaimed roles including Stardust Memories with Woody Allen and The Verdict with Paul Newman. A recent role in the popular TV Series Dexter, where she played a Psychiatrist with a dark soul, introduced her to a new generation of fans. Actresses of her depth and appeal are timeless.

Recently while on one of my Air France flights this article caught my attention in the June issue of Air France magazine about a new drama performance ‘Neck of the Woods’. Charlotte is taking part in this new adaptation of the children’s story Red Riding Hood at The Manchester International Festival from the 2nd of July to the 19th of July in England. I haven’t been able to see the play yet, which is part installation, part concert, and part reading. The Classical pianist Hélène Grimaud, known for her penchant for taking artistic risks, supports the production as she dexterously plays Bach, Eno, Ravel, Schumann and others.  Douglas Gordon, a Turner Prize winning artist, is the Director which tells me that this play is worth seeing.

The Manchester International Festival is an opportunity to see unconventional and interesting performances and art works such as this one. In ‘Neck of the Wood’ Charlotte Rampling performs ‘the third wolf’ amongst the art (the staging), the music and the script. The storyline is based on myths and mysteries attached to wolves with which we are all so familiar in children’s books and stories. Douglas Gordon however doesn’t only highlight the violence of this creature, the wolf is also presented as a loving and protective animal. It is even suggested in the performance that humans and wolves behave in similar ways, which might be a challenge for the viewer to accept, but is an interesting concept to bear in mind. It promises to be a night to remember.

“The more I observe wolves, the more I think they’re just like any other animals — they love, they feed, they protect their young. And the more I think we’re all wolves. The show makes us question basic concepts like survival, free will and cruelty.” 
Douglas Gordon

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