Faced with revolt, the delusional ‘Emperor’ - an American ex-convict who has connived his way into a dictatorship over a remote West Indies island - escapes to the dark forest where the searing heat and ominous pulse of his trackers’ drums take their toll.
In addition to Paterson Joseph, the cast also includes include John Marquez, Dwayne Barnaby, Adrian Christopher, Olivette Cole-Wilson, Yemi Goodman-Ajibade, Brooks Livermore, Rex Obano, Daniel Poyser, Leroy Ricardo-Jones, Corinne Skinner Carter and Jonathan Taylor. The production runs in rep until 31 October 2007 as the final production in this year’s Travelex £10 Season in the NT Olivier.
After the runaway success of the Gate season, the critics are still in thrall to The Emperor Jones, although most admit that the once-intimate staging has lost a little special something in its upsized re-conception. Nevertheless, Robin Don’s new “beautiful symbolist design” does a lot to tackle the sheer scale of the Olivier stage. And, acting-wise, all fears are allayed by Paterson Joseph who once more delivers a “tour de force” performance which is “worth the price of the ticket” alone.
- by Tom Atkins