developed for Kevin Spacey Foundation

Welcome to Speakeasy. All is not as it seems and if you happen upon it, best walk the other way.

Speakeasy features a spectacular 1920’s themed set, world­-class projection visuals, a cinematic soundtrack comprising big band classics and contemporary hits, alongside the distinctive Southpaw movement vocabulary that has been called, “atmospheric, vigorous, and breath­taking” (Sarah Crompton, Daily Telegraph).

Speakeasy is a reinterpretation of the classic tale of Faust, where Faust enters a seemingly normal prohibition era bar, unaware that the bar is owned by the devil and populated by his demons, including the charismatic barman, Mephistopheles.

The award-winning Novak team and acclaimed digital creator Frieder Weiss and Matthias Härtlig provide projection mapping effects that create the spectacle behind Speakeasy, using stereoscopic cameras and interactive programming language that allows performers to appear as a shadowy devil or a 10­ foot tall demon and to dance through raindrops of fire.

The music features big band classics such as Benny Goodman and Count Basie alongside contemporary legends like Tom Waits and Clint Mansell, forming an aural landscape to the piece that is at once vintage and contemporary, intimate and spectacular.

The professional cast includes some of the UK’s finest Bboys (breakdancers) who combine the vocabulary of breaking and contemporary here seamlessly alongside Charleston, Lindy and other swing styles of the roaring 20’s. Southpaw Dance Company perform alongside a community cast featuring members of local swing dancing communities, the fantastic Swing Tyne in this promo.

Speakeasy is a work in progress and will be developed for touring in 2021. Download the tour brochure here

The promo clip was compiled from performances at Dance City, Newcastle, and Pavilion Dance South West, Bournemouth.

Speakeasy was made possible by the Kevin Spacey Foundation and Arts Council England.

“The most explosive piece of dance I’ve ever seen energetic, risky, quirky, humorous – hypnotic from the start” (Vikki Todd, audience member) 

“Great story- telling & exceptional lighting responsive to breath-taking dancing.” (Teresa Kirby, audience member)

“Tonight was amazing, just couldn’t take my eyes off the stage” (Arianne Megan Davies, audience member)

“Stunning performance of Speakeasy last night! Responsive lighting was really cool!” (Michelle Gerencser, audience member)

“Work in progress? Pfft. Blown away by the brilliant Southpaw Company’s Speakeasy” (plus talented SwingTyne-ers)” (Flossie M-Taylor, audience member)

Artistic Direction: Robby Graham

Choreography: Robby Graham

Dancers: Sam Amos, Benjamin TaylorShepherd, Anton Phung, Dan Lowenstein, Marius Mates, Robby Graham

Community members: Newcastle Swing Tyne and Bournemouth Jitterbug Jive

Projection Animation: Novak

Responsive Projection: Matthius Härtlig, Frieder Weiss

  • Client - Kevin Spacey Foundation