Lyttelton Theatre, National
(10mins) Follow signs for exits to the South Bank. This should lead you to an underground pedestrian passage called ‘Sutton Walk’ that emerges at the South Bank. Turn right and walk along the river Thames until you see the National Theat
|Booking From:||Wednesday, 6th November 2013|
|Booking Until:||Wednesday, 6th November 2013|
|Running Time:||1 hour 35 minutes|
Excellent. I really enjoyed it. Having worked in Sicily many years ago they protrayed how women are treated there right.
I thought the stage setting were brillant and gave you a feeling of warmth. I loved the dancing really magically and as for Rosaleen Linehan she was her usual brillant self. Would love to see it again.
It is not at all clear to me why this play is set in Italy yet performed in Irish English. The basic plot is quite engaging but a brisk initial onstage introduction of characters followed by often inaudible dialogue (poor acoustics, poor enunciation, unfamiliar accents, or a combination of all three?). The first half is slow to unfold (I was dozing off) and - given the peremptory introduction - I found myself confused as to the relationship between some of the secondary female characters. The plot unfolds in the second half, but there are mysterious interruptions by not awfully well sung songs, and I wonder if the author had half a mind to do a musical. Thank heavens he didn't. I've had better afternoons.
Liola at the National just doesn’t work, on so many levels.
The National describes Liola as ‘set in Sicily, with Irish cast and gypsy musicians’ and here we have the first problem, a mix of flavours that don’t gel and leave the audience wondering where we are. Many of the actors were difficult to hear and understand and at various moments would do odd “Italian- like” gestures which made no sense to what they were saying or the world they were creating. Though I reiterate I am unsure what world that was meant to be.
The play itself is a little weak, not knowing the original script, I can’t comment on whether it is a bad translation or adaptation or if it's just a case of some things are just best not revived, but either way it is not a great play.
The style ranged from melodrama, to spoof, to classical drama to bad musical. Many of the actors didn’t have good singing voices and so you cringed whilst listening to these odd songs which musically where boring and not pleasant to listen to and I wondered whether they were meant to be Brechtian interludes. It all felt odd.
There was also a few theatre clichés, 3 young boys who climbed trees and were meant to be cute and naughty, 3 giggling teenagers who swooned and danced where needed, but these actions were plain irritating, because they were simply not credible and felt like a device to create an atmosphere.
Richard Eyre is arguably one of Britain’s greatest theatre directors, I don’t understand how he can this play so wrong. It really is worth giving this play a miss.
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