Dante or Die: LA FILLE A LA MODE


La Fille à la Mode is a musical journey through surprising locations in and out of buildings such as the National Theatre, a department store in Holland, the V&A Museum, or the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where it began its life. A company of eight female dancers, actresses and musicians dressed in sumptuous costumes bring an audience on a playful and seductive exploration of the continued celebration and exploitation of glamorous It Girls throughout the ages.

A mysterious accordionist leads the audience on an unexpected trail where performances pop up seemingly out of nowhere, singing the words of Coco Chanel: 'A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.' The production was premiered in August 2011 at the National Theatre as part of Watch This Space Festival.

La Fille à la Mode at Theatre Royal Haymarket, 2012

The project has had a fascinating and organic development period. In the summer of 2009, we ran a Masterclass in site-specific devising at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. As an inspiration we used the few facts surrounding the original production of 'La Fille a la Mode': it was an illegal, burlesque show by an unknown French company. The piece was shaped using quotes from Coco Chanel and 19th Century French courtesan Cora Pearl, and from images and biographies ranging from the first ever It Girl - silent movie star Clara Bow - through to Edie Sedgwick and present day representations of women in celebrity culture. The show is adapted to be performed in and respond to different buildings and architecture.

La Fille à la Mode at the National Theatre, 2011

See the Press page for further press reaction to La Fille à la Mode and the Locations page for a map of performance locations.

  • Directed by: by Daphna Attias & Terry O'Donovan
  • Produced by: Dante or Die
  • Costume Design: Amy Jackson
  • Musical Director: Yaniv Fridel
  • Dramaturgy: Blayne George
  • Stage Management: Jae Young Lee & Maria Larkin
  • Initial concept: Daphna Attias, Blayne George & Terry O'Donovan
  • Devised and performed by: Eleanor Buchan, Rachel Drazek, Aine O'Dwyer, Laura Obiols Albiñana, Anna Richmond, Clara Solana, Gehane Strehler, Eve Veglio-White, Maya Politaki
  • Generously supported by: Arts Council England, Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, Thistle Trust and Masterclass Haymarket Trust

“enchanting dance... exhilarating... fantastic, haunting” Total Theatre

“Alluring, seductive and compelling” Jake Orr, A Younger Theatre

“striking moments of choreography” The Stage