I wasn't specially impressed with Rupert Goold's production of Macbeth but it was a nice enough night out, but this re-imagining of Pirandello's superb piece puts the last nail on the coffin of my relationship with this director.
Both for me and the people I went to see it with this was the most excruciating theatre experience of our lives. I'm not saying Goold doesn't have good ideas, he does, but he overworks them and puts them in your face and everything in the production turns out to be so obvious and over-stretched. He should have cut at least one hour off the production. The ending was a good idea but he overdid it so much it felt banal instead. The whole direction went against the spirit of the play. Where Pirandello succeeds in being interesting and rising questions through humour and light touches and subtlety Goold and Ben Power come in heavy and patronizing and too much "serious business". We spent the whole time screaming "WE GOT IT ALREADY! MOVE ON!" inside our heads.
A shame, because a lot of money and talent (fantastic sound design, by the way) was put into the enterprise.
The only shining light of hope in this dark evening was Dyfan Dwyfor, whom we had already liked in that underdog, cute British indie film The Baker, and who continues to be a delight even amidst this horrendous "adaptation".
West End Whingers.
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