22 December 2012

The Changeling at the Young Vic

Another last day performance, this time back at the Young Vic for The Changeling.

As is becoming increasingly usual, I decided to go because of the positive feedback on Twitter. You have to be a little careful about these comment as the venues, naturally, only retweet the positive reviews but it was the nature of the words that the reviewers used that led me to expect something unusual and exciting.

And that is as far as my preparation went. I had never heard of The Changeling so it came as a shock when they started talking in Elizabethan rhythm and rhyme.

The other surprise was that the Young Vic had gone for free seating (no idea why) and those free seats had been rearranged.

I managed to get in to the queue early and after taking an unexpected route in to the theatre I bagged a seat in the front row near the centre.  I had actually got my eye on the second row (that's where I sit at the Riverside) but a woman beat me to the one seat I wanted there. The front row proved to be a good choice.

The plot of The Changeling is simple enough, a young woman is engaged to be married but falls for another man so arranges for the fiancée to be killed by an admirer who expects, and takes, something substantial in return. It does not end well.

There are other things going on too and it is quite a chunky plot to get in to.

The production was weird. We had fights and sex with puddings, exaggeratedly dressed and prosthetically enhanced people, a net in front of the stage and some modern English (e.g. "beat the shit out of them") among the Elizabethan.

All this added a lot of pizazz and humour to a dark story. And it is dark, with large dollops of sex, violence and violent sex. It was like eating a dark choc ice.

It may be a coincidence, or part of modern drama theory, but it also had one mad scene with dance and music just like Three Sisters did. This time it was at the wedding and this is what is featured in the poster at the top.

The Changeling did exactly what I hoped that it would do. It told a good story with much imagination in a production that did the unexpected.

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