Monday, 22 July 2013
'Sweet Bird of Youth' The Old Vic ***
The Old Vic production of Tennessee Williams' 1959 play 'Sweet Bird of Youth' was a satisfactory production to have witnessed. The performances by world renowned actress Kim Cattrall as the Princess Kosmonopolis and up and coming actor Seth Numrich as Chance Wayne were conveyed with sincerity through their understanding of the characters they were conveying where Kosmonopoilis hired Chance Wayne to be her personal servant come escort who takes pleasure in seducing him. Not far from the role that made Cattrall famous as Samantha Jones in 'Sex and the City'. I found the humour through the dark comedy but I thought that the narrative could have been more thorough as it felt often confusing due to conflicting themes such as romance and segregation. However I thought that Olivier Award winner Marianne Elliot's direction for the play was superb but not on par to her previous productions 'Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' and 'Port'. I think that she could could understand Williams' vision of the production with such ease and fluidity. I became intrigued to know that James Graham was asked to be the Dramaturg to improve certain aspects of the script e.g. the strange dialogue and working closely with Elliot's direction. He has done a very good job with this production. Rae Smith's design of 'Sweet Bird of Youth' was inspired as I became enthralled by the unusual concept as to why he and Elliot wanted to extend the Old Vic's proscenium arch for this specific production and this worked particularly well for this revival of 'Sweet Bird of Youth'. I really liked the use of fight work throughout the proceedings to depict such matters of segregation and sexually transmitted diseases. The work by Fight Director Katie Waters and Bruno Poet's lighting co-existed with one another with clarity due to the dreary themes that Williams originally wrote in 1959. I think that the Producers and the Programming team for this production have chosen an intriguing but quite eccentric play to stage for the summer season but an experience that I enjoyed immensely.
Posted by Kieran (The Dramatic) Knowles at 15:29