Wednesday, 11 April 2012

The Devil In Love - review

Written by: Pot (@DontForgetJames)

Where's Pot shot off to? 
The Courtyard theatre.
Was Pot hot?

The Devil is in love. I, however, am bored. After sitting through what can only be described as a disorganised, broken, convoluted piece of theatre, it would genuinely be difficult for me to tell you whether the Devil was in love, who she was, or even if I cared, because ultimately, I didn't.

The show is an original stage adaptation – from Jacques Cazotte’s novel The Devil In Love – by Rahil Liapopoulou. And it's supposed to be about a young nobleman called Alvar, (a moping Orestes Sofocleous) who after some gentle prodding by friends, summons up a devil (the sometimes weak, sometimes resilient Noush Skaugen) from Hell, who appears (feminists hold onto your hats) as a beautiful young woman, desperately confessing her love and undying servitude to this altogether underwhelming man. For the next series of scenes, all punctuated by complete blackouts and the song 'Ave Maria' - which happens so many times it's actually hard to believe - the two slowly fall in love and travel across Italy to visit Alvar's mother. When they arrive, things all go a bit to pot. During this, they come across a series of strange characters which range from a woefully unfunny barman (Ryan Spencer Wilson, who was clearly doing his level best to keep the entertainment factor up); a witch/bog woman thing who travels around on her hands and knees, spouting predictions of the future; and a rather randy prostitute. The prostitute in question, (Kat Damvoglou, who overall is the most impressive in the show) is really quite good when given time to revel in her true character, but has been obscurely directed so that she can't keep her hands out of her knickers long enough to keep the pace of her performance going.

This is all set in a tiny black box theatre, which due to minimal props and set, felt cavernous. One has to question why director Venus Raven did not change the stodgy, static nature of most, if not all of the scenes to use as much of the space as possible. It might have made the theatre feel a little less underused.

Ultimately, the show baffles. Disjointed and confusing, The Devil In Love could have done with a few more weeks rehearsal before summoning an audience.

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