Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Theatre: Thérèse Raquin
An advised that I could learn a lot from Thérèse Raquin in a similar way that I learned a lot from Belle Du Jour. Well after finally seeing this production I suspect the central message is not to live with your mother in law.
Adapted from Emile Zola's play, it is a great story about a woman and her husband's friend who conspire to kill the husband so they can be together. In the opening minutes of the first act, Charlotte Emmerson as Thérèse mostly pouts and isn't given much to do. I was wondering what was the appeal of the pouter. I was also starting to get a little bored with this production. That was until Ben Daniels (as Laurent) stuck his hand up Emmerson's dress. Neither actor is particular attractive but there was this electricity that suddenly made the audience snap to attention.
It was a pity there weren't more touches of this throughout. It felt at times to be a bit too polite and mannered as if were a play about herbal teas and dominoes instead of murder and adultery. I would have much preferred a more gruesome and atmospheric fare and less of the standard issue bland sets the National is famous for... Fortunately there were more tears before bedtime and the second act moved swiftly to its sensibly bleak end. It finishes its run soon...