Love of the Nightingale – BT Early

first_imgRape, violence, murder, jealousy and tongues being cut out may not be the ideal night out, but Love of the Nightingale (Wertenbaker) is a punchy and engaging production that should not be missed. It is an adaptation of the Greek myth of Tereus and Philomele, in which a young woman journeys from Athens to rejoin her older sister in Thrace, under the care of her brotherin- law. The story focuses on the relationship between Philomele, the younger sister played with affecting vulnerability by Poppy Burton- Morgan, and her brother-in-law Tereus (Tom Richards), only recently married to her sister Procne. As the journey progresses and is delayed by Tereus, it emerges that his motives are far from honourable, and he is crushed by the weight of his passion for Philomele, leading him to violence. The play is occasionally confusing and the split-stage method does not help this uncertainty. As the play develops, the separation becomes more obvious and it begins to seem compulsive viewing. This is helped not only by excellent direction but also by an extremely talented cast: Raj Gathani is particularly good, and his opening fight scene with Huw Davies is a treat. Fight director Miles Warner has obviously put real effort into the choreography. Where the production falls down is in its casting of one actor to play so many different roles. It becomes hectic with the same actors changing persona within seconds. However the performance remains slick, professional and satisfying throughout.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img

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