Posts Tagged ‘Paul Hunter’

I was so looking forward to this. The NT’s Mysteries are one of the high points of my theatre going life. They were also using Tony Harrison’s version and The Globe seemed the sort of space they were made for. I think I was looking forward to it too much…..

At the Cottesloe all those years ago it took all day – The Nativity in the morning, The Passion in the afternoon and Doomsday to send you home on a high! Adam and Eve came out of the sand in which they were buried. Brain Glover’s god made me wish I was a believer. When it came to Judgement Day, I was somewhat appropriately on the wrong side, destined for hell. At the Globe, we race through from creation to passion in 80 minutes, then it took an age (as it were) to get from there to judgement day. The first half is so fast it lacks depth and the second half really does drag.

There are some nice touches and effective scenes – a chilling  massacre of the innocents, a last supper Da Vinci freeze frame, the workman’s thumb injury as he nails Christ to the cross, the same workmen using their mobiles to photograph their finished work and the division of the theatre on judgement day…..but these were small rewards in an overall dull production. A lot of the verse was barely audible and though the lead performances by David Hargreaves as God, William Ash as Jesus, Philip Cumbus as Gabriel & Judas, Paul Hunter as Lucifer and Matthew Pidgeon as Joseph & Pilate were good, the ensemble could have been stronger. There was a touch af AmDram to the design, no doubt intentional but in my view misguided and I didn’t think the style of music worked – but in all fairness John Tams terrific folk score from the NT version is still ringing in my ears 25 years on.

From my perspective, a disappointment and a lost opportunity I’m afraid.

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