Sunday, 27 January 2013

Review: Blackbird Theatre: Don Juan

This new adaptation of Moliere's classic play ended its month long run at the Cultch last night. So why write a review of it? Because it will be at Richmond's Gateway Theatre in April. And not enough people went to see it - we got tickets thanks to a half price offer, and there were people in the line up for the box office who easily got good seats without booking ahead. I am sad to say there were quite a few empty seats in the balcony - and quite a bit of movement before the performance when it became clear that better views would be available. Gateway has much better sightlines from every seat than Cultch's Historic Theatre - and prices there vary by date rather than location.

It was a small cast but there are lots of characters, achieved with very clever use of masks - and one or two odd accents. Similarly one small set but very clever lighting that was most satisfactory when DJ is dragged off to hell at the end. No that isn't really a spoiler because we are all familiar with the story, which also got got turned into the opera Don Giovanni. As Director/Adapter John Wright notes he has "borrowed freely from all that came before us and interwoven the ancient with the modern". It would be a spoiler if I told about how that happens - and the audience lets you know by its appreciation of familiar material in unfamiliar places. Peter Jorgensen (Don Juan) and Simon Webb (Sganarelle) are the only cast members who have one character throughout - and Sganarelle gets more stage time and a lot more business than the eponymous lead - and steals the show. His performance alone is worth the (full) price of admission. But there is one scene, when the Don actually seduces two women, back to back, at the same time which is not only hilarious but utterly convincing. 

I think that if you have read this far, you would do well to book now, on line, at the link above. More about the Blackbird Theatre Co.

  

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