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Ida Rubinstein: The Final Act

Posted on August 26, 2021

Naomi Sorkin Ida Ida Rubinstein The Playground Theatre Photo by Gail Hadani

The Playground Theatre, one of London’s newest off-West End venues, has announced its upcoming programme, including Well Made @ The Playground – a mini-season of new theatre, opera, and contemporary dance from developing artists – and Ida Rubinstein: The Final Act, a play with music and dance that chronicles the untold story of dance’s forgotten diva, starring former American Ballet Theatre dancer, Naomi Sorkin, in the role of Ida. In addition to Sorkin, the cast comprises Darren Berry as Ravel, Marco Gambino as D’Annuzio, Max Wilson as Edward Clement, and Kathryn Worth as Sorreto/Romaine Brooks.

Naomi Sorkin Ida Ida Rubinstein The Playground Theatre Photo by Matthew Ferguson

The creative team includes director and choreographer Christian Holder, designs by David Roger, lighting by Declan Randall, videography by Matthew Ferguson, and Ida’s costumes by Charles and Patricia Lester. Ida Rubinstein: The Final Act tells the story of the early 20th-century Russian dancer. From dancing with the Ballets Russes to commissioning Ravel’s Boléro, Rubinstein’s career saw her working with artists such as Stravinsky, Nijinsky, and Debussy. Yet despite her varied career and fame in her own time, her name is all but forgotten, whilst her contemporaries live on in memory.

Ida Rubinstein The Final ActIda Rubinstein: The Final Act explores the Russian heiress’ dramatic life: her scandalous Salomé that led her embarrassed family to commit her to an asylum, her rise to the heights of fame in Paris, her bisexual love affairs, the assassination of her long-time lover Lord Moyne, and her selfless devotion to wounded soldiers in both world wars. The work combines text, movement, music, projections, and film to evoke a long-gone era of theatrical extravagance. For more, go to


Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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