I cannot believe the review I have just read. This is a poorly directed production of a superb playand the reason Michael Nardone is unerstated is obviously because he has no idea what to do. Casting Gaelic actors, because someone thought they could play Spaniards or could interpret a Spanish play accurately was a major error. The majority of the singing is seriously out of tune, enough to make me cover my ears and the set is indesecribable. Poor David Harewood and Mark Lockyer, they look as they've wandered into the wrong play. I would assess as the worst production the Young Vic has ever played and it makes me very sad. - USER: Whatsonstage.com (184.108.40.206)
20 May 03
What a great production, I really loved this play and the cast, the Young Vic have done themselvs proud.
Lope de Vega’s superbly funny and enthralling early 17 century play (in a new modern English translation) is done in modernish dress (from 30’s to 80’s flowery dresses). It’s a wonderfully comic and ultimately tragic play, and the acting is superb. Michael Nardone plays the title role well (if on a very few occasions undemonstratively) and David Harewood is the very commanding Commander (very good actor with a great physical presence). But in the funny stakes Mark Lockyer takes the prize as Leonardo, the Commanders ADC or similar, he is camp and haughty with a very slight hint of a Nazi Officer about him, most of his lines make the audience collapse in laughter (he is such a funny man I would see the play again just for the laughs forgetting the engrossing story). Hon mention must also go to Jackie Morrison as Castilda the wife of Peribanez and object of much desire.
Some of the bits with the King (especially at the end) were a bit wooden, but other than that was top notch. He only other gripe is that the final scene (according to the book and programme/playtext at the Young Vic) was cut, although it has no words, it truly seals the tragedy of the piece. After seeing the play, turn to the last page of the text and you might see what I mean.
And also, I loved what they did for donkeys, a great idea, all those hours at drama school being animals really paid off in the end, and the music is good too (I loved the priest chanting near the end). - USER: Whatsonstage.com (220.127.116.11)
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