06 April 2007

Total Eclipse by Christopher Hampton

Paul Verlaine - Daniel Evans
Arthur Rimbaud - Jamie Doyle
Mme Maute de Fleurville - Susan Kyd
Mathilde Verlaine - Georgia Moffett
M Maute de Fleurville - Ronald Markham
Charles Cros - Angus McEwan
Etienne Carjat - Ronalk Markham
Jean Aicard - Tom Marshall
Judge Theodore T"Sterstevens - Ronald Markham
Clerk - Tom Marshall
Barman - Angus McEwan
Eugene Krantz - Susan Kyd
Isabelle Rimbaud - Wendy Nottingham

Directed by Paul Miller
Designed by Paul Wills

during it's brief revival at The Menier Chocolate Factory

This was more of an exorcism than a trip to the theatre. Last year I missed a reading of this early Hampton play at the Royal Court during their anniversary project. It was directed by Daniel Evans who played Verlaine tonight. In the reading, this role was taken by Matthew Macfadyen and Rimbaud was read by Ben Whishaw. I have never really recovered from missing this.

Tonight's production was almost as intimate as the reading would have been. I know the text fairly well so it seemed to motor along for me but I was a little saddened by the aggression from Jamie Doyle. It needs to be there in part but there was something about his performance that was not really my idea of Rimbaud. Only a teenager but precocious and with more facets that we saw tonight. Daniel was wonderful though his outbursts were a little OTT.

Nicely staged and a lovely little performance from Georgia Moffett.