Saturday, 9 October 2010

review of 'the love suicides at sonezaki'

as mentioned before here on the blog, this past week, wilson’s music hall by tower bridge played host to a new production of ‘love suicides at sonezaki’ and poxymash was lucky enough to be able to pop along to see it. the eloquent and moving 18th century play concerns two lovers in Osaka who commit suicide together, after a series of events permits them from being together happily. the play itself is quite short and straightforward, and could fall flat, if it were not for the completely brilliant casting and direction this production had. the secondary characters were represented as puppets manipulated beautifully by their puppeteers- i’ve seen puppetry used to excellent effect in other productions, including the royal national theatres version of ‘his dark materials’ a few years back, and i thought this production was on par in terms of technique.

i was particularly impressed by the use of music and song throughout the play, and the hauntingly beautiful main refrain, sung by the characters throughout the play, added another level of depth to the action.

the simple staging of the play was enhanced by a walkway cutting though the audience, which created a fantastically imitate atmosphere. this staging was complemented by the truly unique surroundings of wilsons music hall (a must venue for anyone looking for a new spot in london; the bar alone is worth a visit!). the acting in this play was simply superb; it is hard to single out any one actor from the cast, but special mention must go to the actress who played the courtesan ohatsu; i hope to see her in more productions in time.

in short, this was a fantastic and unusual way to spend an evening in london, and the only criticism i can think to make is the fact that the play didn’t run for long enough. if you get a chance to see another peter case production, please don’t hesitate to do so. and i’ll see you at the bar!

[jessica dowling]

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