"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
groundlings were well placed to appreciate the exotic body art on
view in this otherwise slightly disappointing look at the story [half
fact, half fiction] of what happened to Fletcher Christian and
the other Bounty mutineers.
play, which opened in Chichester, transfers well to the outdoor
arena, though polystyrene rocks that look realistic under lights risk
looking more artificial in the cruel light of day.
space is well used, with actors rushing in through the yard, and much
banter between the crowd and the innocent, ingenuous Tahitan women
who're brought along to found a utopian colony, turning
over a revolutionary "virgin leaf". Shades
here of Lord of the Flies, and Our Country's Good, but strangely
lacking in drama and credible characterization, despite the efforts
of director Max
Stafford-Clark – plenty of violent incident in the second half
especially – and a strong young cast. The women have the toughest
time – speaking like debs when talking their own language, lapsing
into pidgin to converse with their husband/captors. Despite their
guileless talk of orgies and sexual entertainment, there is little to
frighten the horses here.
is the troubled Christian, with excellent support from Ash Hunter as
the hypocritical quadroon
Ned Young, and Naveed Khan as the native slave who does most of the
counter-factual ending [hinted at in the opening] is interesting,
the revenge of the dusky maidens is not convincing historically or
Bean's play is clearly the result of much historical and
though there is rarely a dull moment, with music, movement and
conflict of all kinds keeping things moving, we never feel a part of
history in the way that we do with, say, Anne Boleyn or In Extremis.