I’m not shy of saying how much of a fan I am of the Rosie Kay Dance Company. Its 2012 performance There Is Hope is perhaps my favourite piece of dance….ever! Today it’s great to hear that the award-winning artistic director and choreographer will premiere a brand new piece of work, MK ULTRA, right here in Birmingham before embarking on a nationwide tour.

Following several years exploring the weird world of conspiracy theories, inspired by the bizarre realm of pop culture, mind control and Illuminati imagery, MK ULTRA will bring a hypnotic, high energy, supercharged mash-up of dance, music and imagery to the stage.

Renowned for tackling important, pertinent and challenging subject matters, RKDC looks at a weird world of symbolism, hidden messages and occult signs and deconstructs it for an aware and an unaware audience.

MK ULTRA is a CIA code word for a real LSD fuelled brainwashing technique developed by the US military. Popular conspiracy theory believes that MK ULTRA is still active and programmes high profile public figures and celebrities such as pop stars Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber and Rhianna – puppets of the ‘Illuminati’, a shadowy elite intent on creating a New World Order of authoritarian world government.

In MK ULTRA, Kay, with a typically fearless eye, delves deeply into this world and conjures up something entirely new, subverting the subversive. If you didn’t know about the Illuminati, you soon will and if you did, expect MK ULTRA to shatter the Illuminati’s illusory control.

For MK ULTRA, Kay is reunited with the award winning 5 SOLDIERS creative team- composer Annie Mahtani (Asylum, Supernova and 5 SOLDIERS); set and video designer Louis Price (designs include: The Emperor, Young Vic/Théâtre de la Ville de Luxembourg; The Rotters Club, Birmingham Rep; Stravinsky: Tales, Philarmonia/RFH Southbank; The Etienne Sisters, Theatre Royal Stratford; The Funfair, Home, Manchester and 5 SOLDIERS); lighting designer Mike Gunning (designs include: The Emperor, Inkheart, Romeo and Juliet, Home, Manchester; Crime and Punishment, Moscow Musical Theater; The Drowned Man, Punch Drunk; Dangerous Lady, Theatre Royal Stratford East; The Second Mrs Tanqueray, The Rose Theatre Kingston; The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The Alchemist, Everyman, Liverpool; and 5 SOLDIERS); and dramaturg Tessa Walker.

Marking his first design for contemporary dance is MK ULTRA’s costume designer Gary Card. A set designer, illustrator and one of London’s most talked about talents, Card has worked with pop stars such as Lady Gaga, designing props and headdresses for her Monster Ball tour. His clients have included Comme Des Garçons, Topshop, House of Holland, Nike, Adidas, Stella McCartney and Penguin.\

MK ULTRA plays at Birmingham Rep Friday 17 and Saturday 18 March at 7.45pm. For more information and tickets visit www.birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/mk-ultra.html

About The Author

Editor at large of Polaroids and Polar Bears, PR bod and not-so-secret geek. Chris established Polaroids and Polar Bears in 2013.