Quote Of The Day

"Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake - Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956)"

Friday, May 19, 2017


Last night Stuart and I went to see Yaël Farber's new play Salomé at the National Theatre on London's glitzy South Bank.

Synopsis: Lovely lighting.

Although visually striking the whole night was fatally undermined by a thoroughly turgid script. And at a snail-like pace.

Encouragingly Salomé here is presented as a fresh and politically potent concept. Farber sets out to strip away the veils of myth and misogyny that hide the figure of Salomé (Isabella Nefar). She finds in her a young woman in a brutally male world and an occupied country. Raped by her stepfather (a creepily lascivious Paul Chahidi), Salomé slides around the fringes of power, her abused body a metaphor for her colonised country. Then she meets Iokanaan (John the Baptist) and realises that, by demanding his execution, she can turn him into a martyr and ignite a revolution. That apparently whimsical demand for his head is neither sexual nor capricious here but a provocative, political act.

 It’s a fascinating proposition that, in theory, gives a shadowy woman voice and agency. In practice, we get no closer to Salomé. She remains a near silent, symbolic presence.

And in this silence a few people simply saw boredom. And with that boredom left mid-performance. Which was a shame. Because the bit at the end with the curtains was pure Eurovision.

A classic case of style triumphing over content.

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