07 June 2008

Troilus and Cressida by William Shakespeare

Agamemnon - Anthony Mark Barrow
Achilles / Priam - Paul Brennen
Cressida / Andromache - Lucy Briggs-Owen
Thersites / Calchas - Richard Cant
Hector - David Caves
Paris - Oliver Coleman
Pandarus - David Collings
Alexander / Helenus - Gabriel Fleary
Diomedes - Mark Holgate
Nestor - Damian Kearney
Ulysses - Ryan Kiggell
Aeneas - Tom McClane
Helen / Cassandra - Marianne Oldham
Patroclus - David Ononokpono
Ajax - Laurence Spellman
Troilus - Alex Waldmann

Director Declan Donnellan
Designer Nick Ormerod

You don't come to one of Declan & Nick's productions without a degree of nervous anticipation. It's not the first time I've seen him muck around with the space at the Barbican and this time it was a real improvement. We were told to enter the auditorium right at the bottom of the steps which would ordinarily lead us to the front row but in this case it lead us to a raised platform and eventually took us onto the enormous stage with the performance area right down the middle of two rakes of audience.
The design was very simple and worked with bold lighting. The presentation was a little messy in places and had a touch of the pantomime about it but some gloriously naughty risks were taken and they worked for me.
Sadly, I had a pompous fool behind me who declared that the only people who would come to see this play are those who studied it at university. Once again, I searched in vain for my pea-shooter but settled into the play without the benefit of her courtly interjections.

I shall watch out for the youngsters to turn up on the stage again. They were so comfortable with the text and made it such easy watching. A couple of mentions for Paul Brennan and Richard Cant. Not sure they were doing the right thing but there were certainly committed to it.

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