Salomé is the femme fatale extraordinaire, as uncompromising as she is cruel – a spoiled princess who knows what she wants and won’t settle for less, equal parts virgin and lascivious whore.
Théâtre Libre’s interpretation of Wilde’s Salomé delves deep into the complex and terrifying aspects of Salome’s nature, while also taking a feminist slant: much is made of the objectification she endures from the male gaze.
This version of Salomé is largely compelling. The only thing that jars is Théâtre Libre’s attempt to set it in the modern day (notably when Salomé uses her mobile to take selfies), as this clashes with the archaic, Biblical-sounding language of the play itself. Even so, Liza Weber as Salomé is memorable and utterly convincing, playing up her lascivious, voracious and ultimately brutal nature. Weber’s immensely skilled dancing is the especial highlight and, in combination with well-chosen music and screen projections, amplifies the spectacle of this savage tale.
Check out my full review
Image by dreamthinkspeak
The company dreamthinkspeak have never been afraid to take the unconventional approach. As the artistic director Tristan Sharps puts it, they have done “a lot of work in buildings that aren’t theatres”.
Previous spectacles of theirs were staged in abandoned or semi-abandoned spaces including the hidden interiors of a disused department store, the labyrinthine back passsageways of a theatre and unseen spaces in the renowned buildings of Kings College and Somerset House.
Their most recent immersive experience Absent is highly imaginative and intricate in its execution. Taking over the basements of Shoreditch Town Hall and opening up areas that have never been revealed before, it strikingly reimagines the true story of the Duchess of Argyll’s residence at a central London hotel from the 1970s until the 80s, when she was finally evicted, having run out of friends and credit.
It is a highly unusual story and well suited to being playfully experimented with.
Read my full review of Absent here