Lifestyle, Uncategorized, Watch

Salome at The National Theatre: Reviewed

This won’t be to everyone’s taste, but for those who are all about aesthetics, I’m sure it will be appreciated.

The story of Salome is predominantly un-told, but when it is it’s of a supposed  ‘femme fatale’ who demanded the head of John the baptist as revenge for his spurning of her affections.

SALOME
SALOME by Farber ; Directed by Yael Farber ; Designed by Susan Hilferty ; at The National Theatre, London, UK ; 6 April 2017 ; Credit : Johan Persson

In this re-telling Yaël Farber resurrects Salome from the depths of time and places her at the centre of her own tale as the ‘Mother of the revolution’.  In theory a rather nice idea really as it’s rather dull and a little insulting for Salome to be endlessly painted as a she-devil.

The problem however was that what could have been a real middle finger moment at misogyny turned into a medley of melodramatic moments.

Production image of Salomé a new play by Yaël Farber, centre Ramzi Choukair, Uriel Emil. Photo by Johan Persson.jpg
SALOME by Farber ; Directed by Yael Farber ; Designed by Susan Hilferty ; at The National Theatre, London, UK ; 6 April 2017 ; Credit : Johan Persson

A picturesquely pleasing play, it’s fill to the brim with divine tableaux’s, ethereal movement sequences and heavenly sound. I dare say you won’t be able to resist a gasp in awe as Yasmin Levy and Lubana Al Quntar’s hypnotic vocals fill the auditorium. Nor will you fail to be amazed as sand and swathes of material cascade from the ceiling onto the eternally rotating floor.

Production image of Salomé a new play by Yaël Farber, centre Isabella Nefar. Image by Johan Persson.jpg
SALOME by Farber ; Directed by Yael Farber ; Designed by Susan Hilferty ; at The National Theatre, London, UK ; 6 April 2017 ; Credit : Johan Persson

The problem is at these moments of climax which should have been naturally breathtaking you may find them a little over-baked. To me the reason for this is that the text which seems to be confused and overly impassioned does nothing for the story, or the actors, forcing the acting to take a back seat to the aesthetics.

If this had been purely a movement or dance piece I feel sure it would have achieved the epic status it seemed to strive for, however as it is it seems to fall a tad short.

Salome is on until 15th July and you can find tickets on the National Theatres website here.

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