In the spotlight: Paradise Lost

Written by Holly Goodfellow

This is a need, not want situation and here are my 8 reasons why...

1. Ben Duke, co founder of the Lostdog Dance Company is straight up HILARIOUS!

Nowhere else this side of Scafell Pike are you going to find the line:

“For health and safety reasons we couldn’t have real boulders raining down from heaven. So I’ve used chickpeas.”

But don’t just take my word for it - check out the full 5* review here.

2. The Guardian isn’t the only one:

The media are RAVING about this show with 5* reviews from the Independent, The Stage, The Observer and the Evening standard. My favourite so far is this one from The Independent:

Duke makes an appealingly worried deity. “God is feeling a lot of pressure,” he confesses, looking around at a chair and a tarpaulin from which he – as both performer and god – has to conjure the entire cosmos, not to mention all of Milton’s Paradise Lost."

Read more from them here!

3. It’s a 'two for the price of one' piece – deep AND funny:

This is a show about The Creation but it’s really about creation, full stop. There are wry parallels to the business of choreography — God sitting in an empty room full of possibility with no idea what to do — but most of all to parenting, the act of creating offspring let loose into the world, in all its frustrating, terrifying glory. “I made you!” he exclaims/pleads, both dictatorial and desperate. We are all hapless gods of our own lives, it seems.

Evening Standard

4. He has an amazing company cat – just look at it! #purradiselost

5. The Boar Arts team confess they are a little bit in love with him after his amazing Interview:

I think I am a little bit in love with Ben Duke. Perhaps, then, it is unfair for me to provide an objective response to his one-man performance of Paradise Lost, which allowed me to indulge in unadulterated adoration of the man himself – be him God or Satan (something I should probably be speaking to a professional about)....What I had been ready for a was a one-man portrayal of God and Satan and the Angels; what I had not been anticipating was a one-man portrayal of mankind

Lara Carroll, Boar Arts

6. And this maybe the reason why:


7. But it's not just about the body suit, he's got a stellar CV:

Nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Award and three Total Theatre awards among others, Ben Duke has choreographed for projects by The National Theatre of Scotland and has been commissioned to create work for Scottish Dance Theatre. In 2016 he won the National Dance Critics Award for Outstanding Male Performance for Paradise Lost.

8. Last but not least, this note from our General Manager:

I have seen this show and it is the most hilarious, inventive, touching and original piece of theatre I have seen in a long time. I loved it to bits and can't recommend it highly enough.Who knew a chickpea had such comedy potential!"

Gilli Goodfellow

If that hasn’t convinced you I don’t know what will, but for me this is most certainly a guaranteed night of hilarious and thought provoking dance theatre. Still want a recommendation from someone local? Check out Cumbria Live'spiece on the show.

Right, I'm off to get my ticket...


Paradise Lost (Lies unopened beside me)
comes to the Kirkgate Centre on Friday 12th May. Tickets are just £12 available here.