Fuente Ovejuna

This event has now finished. Until Aug 28 2010

© Alastair Muir

Time Out says  

Posted: Tue Aug 17 2010

It's truly enlivening when fringe theatre sets itself an ambitious challenge and rises to it with panache. Tangram Theatre Company's visceral assault on Lope de Vega's rarely staged Spanish Golden Age drama is just such an occasion. It has a satisfying sense of the epic, alongside irreverence, political gravitas and a beguiling zaniness. As an audience member, you may find yourself dragged into the anarchic action. And even those familiar with the text can never be quite sure what direction the narrative might take - or when it might spring, in a heartbeat, from knowing, tongue-in-cheek theatrics and broad belly laughs to knuckle-gnawing tension and gut-wrenching brutality. It may appear haphazard, but Daniel Goldman's production is
a decidedly organised chaos.

The whole cast, save arch-villain Commander Guzman (Richard Cunningham), are in modern dress, swap roles and mingle with the audience to tell the story of the doughty Castilian village that collectively executed its feudal oppressor after one atrocity too many. We are invited to dance at the heroine's wedding, to join the villagers' rebellious ranks, even to collaborate in the killing. The prevailing tone is playful, yet the atrocities of rape and torture emerge with appropriate weight and power - and even if Goldman occasionally misjudges the pace of proceedings, they are rarely less than compelling. Audacious work, delivered with aplomb.

Southwark Playhouse details

Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard, Corner of Tooley St and Bermondsey St, London SE1 2TF

Southwark Playhouse

Another of London's enterprising subterranean venues, Southwark Playhouse has established itself as the go-to place for exciting, inventive...

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