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Review

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin adapted by Rona Munro from the novel by Louis de Bernieres,

Rose Theatre Kingston

Rose Theatre, Kingston - 12 May 2019

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin   adapted by Rona Munro from the novel by Louis de Bernieres,

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

adapted by Rona Munro from the novel by Louis de Bernieres,

Neil Laidlaw, RTK Productions et al at The Rose Theatre, Kingston 

World Premiere

A review by Mark Aspen

War is a confusing thing, a messy thing.  Many things happen, and for many motives and conflicts may not be confined to the battlefield.  

Confusion and a mess of action open the Rose’s enthralling adaptation of de Bernieres’ Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.    There is a confusion of characters.  Actors double and treble, some play animals, while settings change across Cephalonian life, now thrown into confusion during the attack by Mussolini’s forces in 1940.  All this commotion, however, sits within the ordinary complexities of its human relationship.  Hence, director Melly Still creates a mood piece, which lasts most of the first half of the play, to set the scene. 

This mood is nevertheless set within the permanence of the island itself and the long continuing history of its peoples, powerfully and imaginatively captured by renowned Greek designer Mayou Trikerioti.  The overarching element is a massive foil rhombus the full height of the acting space, the island’s rock-face, which forms the background for mesmerising light and video effects.   The predations of nature: sea, sun, earthquake; and of military: barbed wire, bullets, tanks, are here all writ symbolically in light.

Another element that makes Captain Corelli’s Mandolin so watchable is the use of special effects, for example a shoal of silvery fish that quiver through the air, and yet another is the physical theatre that makes the piece so live.  An athletic chorus moves with balletic grace, or creates an idea or an artefact from their bodies … …

Read Mark Aspen’s review at www.markaspen.com/2019/04/26/corelli

Photography by Marc Brenner


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