It first opened its doors in the 17th century, and has been putting on acclaimed theatrical productions ever since.
But in its 328-year history, the respectable Sadler’s Wells Theatre has probably never seen anything like this.
There were riotous scenes as ten naked men ran through the audience last night and sat on people’s heads.
And they were joined by ten naked women who rolled around in the aisles and sat on top of a birthday cake.
The Dave St-Pierre show Un Peu De Tendresse, Bordel de Merde! was always going to provoke controversy.
But rather than outrage the audience at the prestigious venue were left calling for more rather than the police.
The audience at the London venue were definitely won over.
‘I had no clue who David St-Pierre was but his piece at Sadler’s Wells was pretty amazing,’ said Ana Grias Gomes who was sitting in the stalls.
‘Naked dancing and all. Recommended!’
Monika Saha simply described St-Pierre as the ‘shockmeister of dance theatre’, which is putting it mildly.
Not much happens in the two-hour show which the Sadler’s Wells management has tactfully translated as
A Little Tenderness For Crying Out Loud. It is best described as stand-up comedy meets naked physical theatre.
There aren’t many steps, just the nudity and over-long stretches of speech from a ringmistress who delivers
post-modern aphorisms on staying sexually picky and emotionally aloof.
The serious theme, if there is one, is that no amount of sexual frankness can disguise our longing for emotional
tenderness, and for that you can keep your clothes on.
St-Pierre is regarded as something of a dance-theatre demi-god in his native Montreal, although in truth he follows very much in the footsteps of German choreographer Pina Bausch — who once called him her ‘pornographic illegitimate child’.
The description flatters him, as he lacks Bausch’s subtlety and her theatrical finesse. That hasn’t stopped the show being a near sell-out.
The few seats still for sale are in the upper circle where the view isn’t so good.