Wednesday, 29 September 2010


We like the incredible Faust production currently playing at WLTT's favourite theatre The Young Vic. Vesturport Theatre Company from Iceland tackle the universal Goethe classic about a man's dance with the devil. Director Gisli Gardarsson rigorously explores the possibilities of his space in this wildly visceral show. The show begins in the conventional manner with the actors on the stage, soon however as our protagonist enters his own netherworld, the supernatural characters of limbo begin to crawl out of the ceiling. Much of the action unfolds above the audiences head as the characters snarl and grapple atop a vast net which spans the length and breadth of the theatre ceiling. Gardarsson doesn't use trained gymnasts, so the aerial action is far from polished choreography. Instead the result is a show with a startlingly physicality, with actors almost free running around the interior space with a gait that is more grotesque than graceful. The Young Vic typically operates on a free seating basis but for this show seats can be booked in advance. Our tip would be to sit in the stalls not the dress circle, you'll see much more of the action close up. Did we mention that the score has been composed by the dark lord himself Nick Cave? We left boiling over with renewed intellectual vigour. The combination of a theatrical classic with a charged physical performance (and of course several plastic cups of good red wine!) is a heady mix. We'd advise you fortify yourself with a smoked oyster and beef burger from the buzzy restaurant pre show. Our most valuable tip is to have a post show nightcap (may be recommend a peaty 10 year Talisker, straight up) at The Pit Bar, a little known late night opener under The Old Vic (just across the street). Theatre director Kevin Spacey is there propping up the bar every time we visit, as are most of the actors from the evening performances, groupie heaven! Why it's enough to make us want to move Southside!

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