March 1st, 2009

breaking bad

Don John

Yesterday I went with happytune and her partner, and matildabj and dalehead to see Knee High Theatre's production of Don John. This is a retelling of Don Giovanni/Don Juan, set in 1978, just before Thatcher got in.

The story is told more by vision, movement and music than by words. I was hampered by not knowing Don Giovanni. I mean I know the general idea, but not the events. The stage was very cleverly done - made up of three or four big shipping crates, one decked out as a garage, with a 'garage band' in it who played songs in the style of the Clash, the Sex Pistols, the Bee Gees etc.

The movement and dance was very good, very physical. There was some quite explicit stuff, some of it fairly violent.

The style of presentation was a challenge to me, as I am more focused on words and plot, and with opera, it's always a bit 'Hey, what did you do with the words and plot?' But that makes it interesting and definitely worthwhile to see. It took me perhaps most of the first half to really get to grips with how it worked.

I'd like to see their similar retellings of 'Brief Encounter' and 'Cymbeline', because the source stories would be more meaningful to me.

Another review from happytune here