On the internet it’s not hard to discover a certain cactus plant has hallucinogenic properties and if you know which bits to chew on you could be in for an all-nighter with the local desert menagerie.  Moses Pendleton, artistic director of Opus Cactus is obviously a dab
hand with Google if the latest Momix production is anything to go by – taking imagination to new heights.

Actually, the truth is, Opus Cactus was inspired on a visit to Arizona desert when Pendleton was invited to choreograph a short piece for Ballet Arizona.

The show started with the lights dimming and the crowd quietening as a constellation of stars appeared on the stage’s backdrop and the start of an elegantly crafted production commenced accompanied by a fitting soundtract.

Opus Cactus is a series of visions all emcompassing feelings of desert warmth mixed with a hint of fantasy, including sidewinder snakes, lizards and even tumbleweeds.  The tubleweeds glowed in the dark and rolled across the stage, some fast, others slow – all so realistically you’d never guess there were people behind them. Or were the people within them?  I’ll probably never know.

The show integrates ballet, modern dance, props, beauty, music, sound and illusion.  You’ll gasp in bewilderment how Pendleton choreographed certain scenes and you’ll look long and hard at how well the costumes fit the scenes.

You’ll come out of the theatre very pleased with yourself.


Opus Cactus has already been staged in the U.S., Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Greece, Austria, Switzerland, Russia, Japan, Singapore, Macau, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Chile – it’s now here in the UK, playing at the Peacock Theatre on Portugal Street, WC2 until October 1st.

Tickets are priced £10-36 and performances are Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm and on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays there are matinees at 2.30pm (except Wednesday 28th).  The ticket office number is 0870 737 0337.