Edward II, National Theatre London

by Sophea

I could throw 101 reasons as to why I didn’t like this production. The set was distracting and disastrous, the costumes weak, the props uninspiring and some members of the cast – more or less all excluding the lead – offered a very flat performance. It was not what I expected of the national, especially after being blown away a week ago by a Punch Drunk performance that they funded. It was so draining to watch because there was nothing to grip the audience. It’s only saving grace was the script which was actually fine, although after I did hear responses from people which mainly focused on their lack of understanding of the language and therefore the script too.

The costume crossed between medieval period wear to modern skinny jeans and leather jackets, which sounds like it should add a new dimension to the show but unfortunately the costume designer feel flat on their face because it just added confusion. Even if this mis-match was justified I would be able to understand it more, but truthfully it left me feeling disconnected. The one and only thing that might make this performance was it’s use of live video. I personally love the idea of watching someone’s face without anything else; this is perhaps why I love film, because it is easy to have close ups. In theatre it is unusual to have that proximity to the emotion on someone’s face. A lot of feedback I got was that the company overdid the film work and by the end they were over seeing lots of video men dressed in period clothing walking on the stage. Perhaps they thought it very backward.

I could continue to rant but over all I will just say that I felt let down by the show and what it had to offer, which was very little!

I have included some reviews because generally across the board, the feedback was not good!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/10287082/Edward-II-National-Theatre-review.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/theatre-dance/reviews/review-edward-ii-national-theatre-london-8803228.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/victoria-sadler/edward-ii-national-theatre-review_b_3864529.html

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