I was very excited about seeing this play. Its directed by Peter Hall, who obviously has a good reputation for his Shakespeare. I saw his Uncle Vanya last year at the same theatre; The Rose in Kinsgton and I loved it. The set, costume, sound, lighting, acting was consistent with eachother and the play made sense to me. I had never read it before and was expecting it to be a little boring but I was pleasently suprised. However, when I went to see Hall's Shakespeare I was not very happy. The acting was wonderful, the play was coming to the end of its run and so the actors were all comfortable with the text and eachother. But the set, costume and lights were not great and not consistent with eachother. The set had large iron gates in the centre which looked lovely but on either side of the stage there were two jacob ladders (thats what Al tells me they are called). I think the jacob ladders are apart of the The
Monday, 17 November 2008
Rose's stage but they are horrible to look at. What really annoyed me was that the actors used the ladders which had clearly not been invented in the time the play was set. The costumes were nice and seemed to add to the world of the play, but there was no set. You had to rely on the actors completely to give you a picture of what was going on. The lights did not help this. There was a blur of red, browns and greens on the back wall which really did not make sense to me. The first rule of lighting design is lights are for visibility. These lights were definitely not for visibility and they did not add atmosphere so they were very unnecessary!
Apart from the set, costume, lights I did think the actors did a marvelous job.