“A poet’s art is to lead on your thoughts through subtle paths and workings of a plot. I will say nothing positive; you may think what you please…”
It’s not too often that I open a review with mention of the sound design, but Max Pappenheim‘s work in The Little at the Southwark Playhouse is undoubtedly worthy of the accolade. In this intimate auditorium on the architecturally clean lines of Anna Reid’s set, there’s an extraordinary sense of being in vaulted palace chambers and cathedrals as echoes and reverberations amplify our imaginations perfectly.
See The Cardinal on Tuesday 2 May 2017 & join My Theatre Mates' co-founder Terri Paddock for a post-show Q&A with the director & cast.
Set in the unsettled kingdom of Navarre, The Cardinal emerges as a revenge tragedy and Audibert’s clear-sighted direction ensures that the intricacies of the plotting is lucid and consistently compelling. The Duchess Rosaura wants to marry the Count D’Alvarez, but the Machiavellian Cardinal wants her for his nephew Columbo – their battle of wills sweeps up many in the court around them with spectacularly bloody results.
Stephen Boxer‘s carmine-robed Cardinal is charismatically malevolent as many a good villain and Natalie Simpson‘s Duchess is a marvellously determined agent of chaos in her own way, each marshalling allies to their side to scheme, whether Phil Cheadle‘s righteous Hernando or Timothy Speyer’s wily Antonio.