Historical post – 24 February 2012
The enduring success of LSE Timeless!
With thirteen dance numbers, ten songs and the novelty of a magic act, this year’s Timeless! was the most innovative and diverse production to date. Over 1,600 people filled the Lyceum theatre in support of the annual production, and excitement is already brewing for next year’s show. Reena Gudka, a first year Economic History student, has said: “For me, university life truly began when rehearsals for Timeless kicked off. I haven’t felt this comfortable around a group of such inspirational, talented individuals in a very long time now. I cannot stop thinking about Timeless! 2013”.
Spearheaded by scenes familiar to audience members, the London riots provided the backdrop to a show which would centre on the mental unravelling of a brilliant but introverted law student, Lily-Anne, played by International History undergraduate Ruby Weaver. The show was bursting with talent from the word go as the frenzy of the riots was brilliantly portrayed through dance by the 22-strong Hipflop act, for which particular mention should be given to the choreography team led by Ashish Patel.
With such a diverse cast, one of the things the audience seemed to enjoy most was the gentle humour with which the characters treated their respective cultures. Far from rehashing tired stereotypes, the audience laughed hysterically as ‘Zee’ played by Lee Zhi Wei corrected one student who thought he was Japanese, as Sandipa (Rivali Dass) made sure to swear to her ‘Gods’ and as last year’s African Caribbean Society President Damini, playing Jack, satirised ‘family tradition and our British culture.’ Indeed, it was not only culture comedy that made Timeless! so spectacular but an utterly convincing cast of actors who, transcending their own racial and cultural identities, could come together as a diverse but believable ensemble – a testament not only to LSE’s heterogeneity, but to the efforts of the production team under the clever guidance of producer Evaleen Brinton.
Musical Director Natasha Sellayah coordinated another fantastic aspect of the show, with Acapella performances, pop renditions by principal actresses Ellie Cassidy and Esma Akkilic and a beautiful scene with Sufi singers and Garba dancers as Lily-Anne strays more and more from her previously molly-cuddled existence.
A much-lauded aspect of the show was the quick, slick sleight of hand of Timeless!’s first magician Tim (played by Claus Heintzeler) whose skilful moves added yet another layer of mystery to the show. Claus’s magic was woven into various scenes, and as the show progressed into Act 2, the plot took on a darker, more sinister tone. Indeed, the audience was gripped by the revelation that Jack, Lily-Anne’s new confidante, had in fact betrayed her by swapping their coursework, which sent an increasingly unstable Lily-Anne on a quest for deadly revenge. Hiphop and contemporary dance was used to symbolise Lily-Anne’s maniacal descent, enticed by school-friend Alison (Sumaiyah Khan) whose chilling command, ‘Stick with killing him’ echoed in Lily-Anne’s head before her final breakdown. The audience was captivated right till the end with the shocking twist that the coaxing Alison was in fact an apparition: an old friend of Lily-Anne’s who perished in the London riots. Fortunately, all came good in the end however with a fast-forward to graduation and a now healthy Lily-Anne celebrating with her friends and the (thankfully) living Jack! Tjalling Valdes-Omos closed the show with a moving rendition of Beyoncé’s ‘Listen’, as Lily-Anne finally made peace with the passing of her friend.
Rounding off the night, Nikesh Mistry (President of Timeless!) thanked the cast, committee and sponsors as an ebullient crowd took to their feet in resounding applause for what was another superb Timeless! Production.
Timeless! was made possible this year through the generous support, both financial and otherwise, of the LSE Annual Fund, the Director’s Fund and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Vice President, LSE Timeless! 2012