15 April 2009

Madame de Sade by Yukio Mishima
(translated by Donald Keene)

Comtesse de Saint-Fond - Frances Barber
Anne - Fiona Button
Madame de Montreuil - Judi Dench
Baronesse de Simiane - Deborah Findlay
Charlotte - Jenny Galloway
Renée, Madame de Sade - Rosamund Pike

Director: Michael Grandage
Designer: Christopher Oram

At the Donmar West End residence in the Wyndham's Theatre in a wonderful seat, kindly given by a friend who couldn't make it

It's hard to find fault with this production so I shall be interested to catch up with the luke warm press reviews.
For a matinee audience, everyone seemed very attentive and involved. The performances were staggering from the sparsity and dryness of Jenny Galloway's lines to the incredible monologues from Rosumund, Judi and Frances. Brilliantly naughty and funny with some heart-breaking turns. Is it bad that I kept picturing Johnny Depp as Sade? I think I had The Libertine in mind.

The costumes were great and I particularly liked the pale blues & greys of the final act.

I felt like I'd seen the set before sometime in the last couple of years but it worked perfectly. Music and projection stuff were a bit indulgent but it made the old dears sit up in their seats.

I can hardly believe there are still people who think they are less disruptive if they open their noisy sweets slowly than if they do it quickly get it over with but I'll teach 'em, one fool at a time.

Many of the audience rose to their feet for the second curtain call and the crescendo of applause for Frances, Rosamund and Judi was very exciting and stirring....had me wiping a tear.

Thanks Flip!