Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Don John

Last night, to wintry Stratford-upon-Avon to see the Kneehigh Theatre Company's Don John in the RSC's Courtyard Theatre.

This was a re-telling of the storyline treated so memorably in Mozart's opera Don Giovanni - with the characters transported to the dingy streets of London at the end of the 1970s.

During the course of the first half, a frail old man was senselessly murdered, an unhappy vicar ranted to the audience of his loss of faith and numerous brief couplings took place. And we had sight of possibly the most unappealing selection of underwear ever to grace the Stratford stage.

Those Seventies styles were, indeed, pants.

Characterization was minimal and the writing, to my ear, was stilted and unengaging.

In short, the whole mise en scene conjured up an atmosphere of such sordid despair that my companion and I were of one mind when the interval arrived. We went home.

Of course, things may have changed entirely in the second half, so, please, dear reader, this is simply a diary entry - it's not a review.

Er, for a review - try the excellent Charles Spencer of the Telegraph.

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