Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Theatre review: Desire Under the Elms
Ian McNeil's dollhouse of a set opens up to reveal a much darker interior behind the apparently quaint little farmhouse and tiny rooms are wheeled on and off the stage, bringing some claustrophobia to the Lyric's large stage, and James Farncombe's lighting and Christopher Shutt's sound design contribute in a big way to creating an atmospheric production.
Holmes seems to like staging particularly bleak dramas around this time of year, and Desire Under the Elms is no different, although it's a barrel of laughs compared to last year's offering. There's some interesting ideas in the transposing of Greek drama memes to a puritanically Christian household, but in the end I just wasn't engaged by the play, and can see why it's among the writer's less frequently staged works.
Desire Under the Elms by Eugene O'Neill is booking until the 10th of November at the Lyric Hammersmith.
Running time: 2 hours 10 minutes including interval.