Brill! Lively, but also occasionally moving, account of growing up while your Mum becomes a cult member.
An opportunity to see this play in dress rehearsal was snaffled away from me at the last minute so stubbornly, I’d opted not to see it. But the offer of a friend’s spare ticket and the good notices that Patsy Ferran’s performance seemed to be universally receiving eventually got me along to the Trafalgar Studios’ smaller space.
This year may be the battle of the Cymbelines, with the Royal Shakespeare Company presenting their take while the Globe present two versions, one currently running in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and Imogen (a “retitled and reclaimed” production) part of Emma Rice’s inaugural season. Last year the two establishments presented alternate takes on The Merchant of Venice with Polly Findlay’s RSC production the first to arrive on DVD.establishments presented alternate takes on The Merchant of Venice with Polly Findlay’s RSC production the first to arrive on DVD.
What an odd, stark, angry, intelligent Merchant this is! Wholly unlike the last RSC production, Rupert Goold’s spectacular Merchant-of-Vegas gameshow. Polly Findlay sets it modern dress, on a bare stage whose floor and backdrop are gold bars, mirroring the auditorium and making us visible witnesses to the case of Antonio, the shipowning speculator, and his deal with Shylock the Jew. A gilded pendulum swings constantly at stage level; the three caskets descend too, 65 feet from the grid on wires, bald as geometry diagrams – cube, cone, cylinder.
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