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message in a bottle @ sydney opera house


MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE is one of Sting’s songs. This and 27 other Sting titles have been transformed into a dance spectacular at the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Opera House. The production is part of the 50th birthday celebrations of the opening of the Sydney Opera House.

This is a Sadler’s Wells & Universal Music UK Production directed and choreographed by Kate Prince. The music is recorded. The Sting favourites are there, such as ‘Be Still My Beating Heart’ and ‘If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free’. The songs selected form a somewhat disjointed story of loss, hope, fear and love. 

It is often difficult to find the connections between the music and the bold choreography. But, it didn’t matter. It is all about contemporary dance. It is spectacular, original, wildly energetic and precisely coordinated  with light and sound effects. Twenty performers display amazing physicality as they dance the stories of prisoners, refugees, gays, rape victims as well as marriage, survival, hope and love.

The program says, ‘We live in a world where one person is forcibly displaced every two seconds as a result of conflict or persecution. Over 100 million people had been forced from their homes…fleeing oppressive regimes. 

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE follows the fortunes of a father, mother and their three teenage children forced to leave their village during a civil war.’  

The 1500 seat theatre was packed with exuberant Sting admirers, many clapping and singing along to the songs.

Run time: 1 hour and 50 minutes, with a 20 minute interval.

Recommended for audiences 7+.

MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE is playing at the Joan Sutherland Theatre Sydney Opera House until October 29 2023.

Photography by Daniel Boud



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