When I saw Dennis Kelly’s name on the poster for the Royal Court’s production of Girls & Boys I knew it was going to be a macabre type of show. It was my theatre friend who saw Carey Mulligan’s name to headline the show first, which was mentioned on Twitter last year. Thank God she booked the tickets back then. After three months of advance booking, I found myself sitting three rows away from The Great Gatsby (2013) and Suffragette (2015) female star.
Looking at Salome through a post-Weinstein veil
Ten years ago I saw David McVicar’s production of Salome. Back then it was brand new not only to the Royal Opera House and also to me. I was 23 years old, developing my knowledge of opera productions in London and working my way through a checklist of operas I wanted to see. Between now and then, I’ve seen Salome performed by Swedish soprano Nina Stemme in a semi-stage production at the BBC Proms and another performance by British soprano Allison Oakes at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. I remember the production well for its strange stage design — a green, modern day tie store. (I didn’t buy it.) I also recall a small yet exceptional physical theatre production by Théâtre Libre at the Space Arts Centre. From these productions alone, I learnt that the character of Salome — based on the biblical text — most certainly symbolises seduction, power and lust.
Given Oscar Wilde‘s emotionally charged portrayal of Salome, his French play became a success de scandal in 1891. This was similarly the case for Richard Strauss‘s opera in 1905 in Dresden. The Lord Chamberlain banned the play and opera in London until 1907, while the Vienna State Opera was far more ruthless and didn’t perform the opera until 1918. In 1903, Strauss composed his novel, groundbreaking opera accommodating a 100-piece orchestra in Berlin, and in the space of two years it was successfully performed over 50 times after its premiere in 1905.
"Step out of your comfort zone" ✩✩✩✩ #TheSecretGarden is showing now -April! @Btheatreciren #Cirencester #Cotswolds. Go see! trendfem.com/2018/03/the-se… @TheAlexEllison @benboskovic @celiarosecf @DaniellaPiper @davidhaydn @Jennyoleary90 @JamieRoss @JaimiePruden @theminal #Musical