Friday, October 05, 2018
Measure for Measure - Hayley Atwell (excellent) and Jack Lowden (superb) swap roles. Nice idea. Long night. @DonmarWarehouse #MeasureForMeasure ...
Starring Hayley Atwell (excellent) and Jack Lowden (superb) Artistic Director Josie Rourke's production sees the female and male leads swap roles mid-show.
What this really means in practice is we get to see the play performed as written in its original year of performance, 1604, in the first half and then repeated once again in the second half with the leads swapped - this time set in 2018. And it makes for a very long night indeed.
The acting is superb. The set simple. And the idea clever. But perhaps too clever to sustain a three hour performance running time. Sexual politics of the play aside - judge abuses his power to seduce a woman to save her brother - things just drag on. The message of "the tempter or the tempted, who sins most?" gets somewhat lost as the actors rattle through the second half like a shaggy dog story being retold with "she said" swapped for "he said."
Nice idea. Long night.