Ralph Lauren Fall Winter 2015-2016 Collection – New York Fashion Week

They weren’t willing to accept that you can get nervous. They were just, Do it and get out,’ so I said, How about I just get out?’ In terms of being muddy and horrible, The Revenant takes some beating. There were so many days where we’d need to be in and out of the water all day. It was tough. On the last day on Unbroken, I was at my lowest weight and I’d been on dehydration protocol for four or five days. Having to be active and starving is not great.

For over two decades now, Mike and Kate Westbrook have been creating wholly original jazz-based works using elements from a large range of other art forms, opera, cabaret, literature (especially European poetry) and music-hall prominent among them. Platterback focuses on a journey from the country (Stiltsville) to the city (Platterback) involving two central characters, an urbanite cook (Kate Westbrook) and a bucolic conscript soldier (John Winfield), plus a punk bookworm (Karen Street), a cardsharp (Stanley Adler) and a poet (Mike Westbrook). On the way, courtesy of some of the most immediately accessible and affecting music Mike Westbrook has ever written, and of the intelligence and lucidity of Kate Westbrook’s intensely felt but pleasingly informal lyrics, themes including the conflicts between love and duty, city and country lifestyles, and naivety and cynicism are vividly dramatised.

Ralph Lauren Fall Winter 2015-2016 Collection – New York Fashion Week Photo Gallery

Winfield’s love-struck, nostalgia-soaked soldier and Kate Westbrook’s wise, ebullient but tender-hearted cook explore and debate the issues in song. Meanwhile Adler’s cello (which is as at home with the blues of his native Chicago as with his instrument’s more conventional repertoire) and Street’s accordion (conjuring up nuevo tango and chanson as well as the English folk tradition) provide telling musical commentary over Mike Westbrook’s subtle but powerful piano. Working as it does on many levels, and with a narrative pull more usually encountered in short fiction, Platterback is at once a satisfying drama and an intense and compact musical whole, and like all Westbrook works is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.

Ralph Lauren Fall/Winter 2015-2016 Collection – New York Fashion Week

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