Thursday, 24 October 2013
'Scenes from a Marriage' St James Theatre ***
The year old St James Theatre has produced some extraordinary productions since its opening but its current play to brace the stage 'Scenes from a Marriage' seems rather disappointing for ones liking. The play is about a well established married couple who seem to be well respected in their fields of work. Marianne a family divorce lawyer and Johan a senior lecturer at a university at the beginning seem like the perfect married couple but as time flows by the marriage is left in absolute tatters. The story by Ingmar Bergman conveys a depressing and negative view of marriage that desensitizes me as the narrative seems to go from a happy harmonious atmosphere to one full of dread and despair. The acting is of an acceptable standard but I must commend Olivia Williams' portrayal of Marianne as she encapsulates a troubled woman who becomes exactly what she fears the most, becoming a divorcee in her mid forties. Her emotions exhibited here were second to none as she identifies with women who are going through this very tough time in a realistic manner and situation. In addition I found Mark Bazeley's performances of the senior lecturer Johan to be well presented as it seems that he has researched the character who is going through a mid life crisis to the best of his capacity and the movements to convey his drunkenness were well executed. I am quite dismayed by Trevor Nunn's direction as it seems that not a vast amount of creative decision making was thought of with this production as it seems very dull and tiring at places. A huge comparison to the productions that he has directed before such as 'Les Miserables' and 'Kiss Me, Kate' which were stunning and uplifting. I thought the set design was rather bland which leads me to question whether enough collaboration was taken to ensure a superb five star standard of performance. At various points throughout the proceedings in particular scene changes I could hear a vast concoction of noise exuding through the backstage areas and this aggravates me immensely as this should not happen under any circumstances. Also when ticket prices are expensive here you should not expect such shoddy showmanship and craftsmanship. In other words this production leaves a lot to be desired. I have seen substantially interesting production than this rubbish. Hopefully the next play in the season 'In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play' is a much more stylised performance that delivers both panache and quality in all areas.
Posted by Kieran (The Dramatic) Knowles at 12:38