The Review - THEATRE by TOM FOOT Published: 15 November 2007
Wild vision of Wilde’s passion
LION AND UNICORN THEATRE
by Ashionye Ogene
DESPITE the biblical links of Oscar Wilde’s original, Andy McQuade’s reworking of Salome is a long way from Sunday school.
Set in a fetish nightclub, against a backdrop of metal chains and soft gothic pornography, the plot centres on the princess Salome, seductively portrayed by Nika Khitrova, and her lusting stepfather King Herod (Patrick W Doherty), whose desires and unrequited passions for one another results in a tragic and explosive climax in the form of an eerily realistic severed head.
Featuring sexually charged scenes and impassioned drama, this latest production from international drama company Second Skin had the audience extolling its voyeuristic intensity and musing over its daring form.
Amid themes of lust, desire, religion and S&M, the script stays true to Wilde’s controversial focus on sexual passion while bringing his 19th-century drama sharply up to date. Full frontal nudity opens the play and sets the tone for much of what is to come, which includes male nudity and lesbian lovemaking.
Leathers, g-strings, fishnets and Madonna-inspired cone-cup armour adorn the actors, but, remarkably, this does not detract from the powerful performances of the talented cast. Leading actor Patrick W Doherty is particularly effective as Herod, exploding onto the stage in the second half to provide some well-balanced humour that compliments and softens the sexual impact of the play.
Overall a daring and adventurous production, for which the cast and company are to be commended, but think twice about taking your mother. Until November 18
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