Isabella Rossellini and Isabelle Huppert take one-woman shows to London

Two celebrated European actors are taking one-woman shows to London: one of them is bringing her pet dog on stage and the other will play sisters created by the Marquis de Sade.

The Italian star Isabella Rossellini is presenting the UK premiere of Link Link Circus. Rossellini will portray Aristotle, Descartes and Charles Darwin, among other characters, as she explores what distinguishes humans from animals. It seems her dog, Pan, will also be taking on a number of roles. “I cannot have on stage all the animals I will talk about in the play,” Rossellini has said, “so Pan and I will dress up and interpret several different species. Link Link is in fact a little circus. Pan and I will address the newest scientific discoveries about animal minds, intelligence and emotions.”

‘Pan and I will dress up’ … Rossellini’s Link Link Circus. Photograph: Brigitte Lacombe

Rossellini previously explored the sex lives of animals in a surreal lecture, Green Porno, incorporating her series of short films. Link Link Circus will run at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in October.

Before then, France’s Isabelle Huppert will also alternate between characters in her show at the Southbank Centre. The Oscar nominee will play both Justine and Juliette, sisters representing vice and virtue, in Isabelle Huppert Reads Sade, adapted by Raphaël Enthoven and staged at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in June. It is the UK premiere of a work that she first performed several years ago. Huppert’s last London stage role was in Phaedra(s) at the Barbican in 2016.

Rossellini and Huppert’s performances are part of the Southbank Centre’s 2018-19 season in which choreographer Holly Blakey and composer Mica Levi will explore the western film genre in their show Cowpuncher, and Scottish Dance Theatre present the UK premiere of Velvet Petal, inspired by the artist Robert Mapplethorpe. The centre’s Christmas shows include Rumpelstiltskin, a co-production by Australian theatre companies Windmill Theatre Company and State Theatre Company South Australia.

Other productions include a new version of Tim Etchells’ That Night Follows Day, marking Forced Entertainment’s first project as a Southbank Centre associate company. Shobana Jeyasingh Dance also become an associate company.

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