This production of Salome ticks so many boxes, yet leaves you wondering "Why didn’t I enjoy that?".
Originally written in French back in 1891, Oscar Wilde’s controversial biblical tragedy tells in one act the story of Salome and her request for the head of Jokanaan (John the Baptist), much to the horror of her stepfather and delight of her mother.
Now, there is a great deal to admire here. The acting by the entire cast is fantastic. Salome appears to almost float across the stage, such is the almost supernatural quality of the performance. An ageless innocent figure made all the more haunting by the desires of the character.
The dialogue is really quite beautiful and the timing of the delivery does, in places, produce moments of unbearable intensity. Particularly between Salome and her stepfather.
It does not overstay its welcome and at no point does it appear boring, but there was something missing that prevented it from being memorable. Some spark or shot of electricity to fire it into greatness. Perhaps it was a misplaced promise of shock. The words ‘controversy’, ‘violent’ and the reminder of its ‘once banned’ status were thrown about and, to me, that air of danger just wasn’t justified.
There are contemporary themes here, particularly in dealing with the Middle East, which is all done with subtlety and sophistication. And nothing is done without purpose or consideration.
This is a good play. It just should have been a great one.
Show: Aug 6th - 18th (not 12th), 6.10pm.
Tickets: £8 (£7)