I saw Salome by Oscar Wilde at The Richmond Theatre last night. Not at all what I was expecting. This was a bold new production, set in a very bleak almost post apocalyptic hell hole. A bare, raw stage with only a large sandpit, oily puddles, ladder rungs and harsh lighting from which to display the cast members. And what a beautiful bunch of bodies they were to behold. All muscular and bare torsoed in a savage and harsh landscape. Lots of blood, guts and vomiting added to the nightmare scenery. The play is directed by Jamie Lloyd who is an Associate Director of the Donmar – where given the central stage I imagine the performance would work extremely well.
The play is highly sexual with Salome, played by Zawe Ashton exhibiting her excessive sexual desire in a slightly over done way and her dance was extremely modern – more Beyonce than I was expecting, but captivating nevertheless. You even get to see her rather lovely bottom:-
Herod, played by Con O’Neill was excellent in his role as a mad, highly sexual, homo-erotical tyrant, unable to control his urges, although I have to say he didn’t have quite the strength of voice required, it sounded a little strained – especially when competing with his wife Herodias, played by Jaye Griffiths who gave a very strong performance:-
It was 90 minutes of intense and powerful drama. Interesting and very different. Well worth checking out.