Posts Tagged ‘Jericho House’

A few years ago Jericho House put on an extraordinary play called Katrina in a disused building. It was on Punchdrunk immersive territory with topicality and bite. I loved it, and it was the reason I booked for this site specific Tempest at St Giles Cripplegate almost exactly 400 years since it was first performed.

Sadly, it turns out to be a bog standard Tempest with little reason to be staged here. Performed mostly in the nave with seating on three sides and lit by a vast number of household lamps, it zips along but feels like they’re just desperate to get it over with. The performances aren’t particularly distinguished and the verse speaking is weak. Whatever the production, you can normally revel in the words, but not here I’m afraid. The use of period songs is very effective, but the more modern incidental music jarred with me.

I really don’t understand why they decided to put it on in a church. Though it’s clearly an atmospheric setting, it doesn’t reveal, illuminate or add anything to Shakespeare’s play. The main effect is challenging sight lines and acoustics and numb bums! Maybe I should have gone to see Ralph Fiennes after all.

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