Thursday, 28 September 2017

Theatre review: After the Rehearsal / Persona

It would be far too time-consuming and expensive for the Barbican to send someone to every single audience member’s home to scream “WE HATE YOU!” into their faces, but they’ve come up with a more straightforward way of getting the message across: When scheduling a Belgian director’s Dutch version of two Swedish films that comes in at over three hours, why not make the start time 7:45pm? Also, you can make tannoy announcements that it’ll start dead on time, which the audience dutifully follow, and then start five minutes late anyway. That way anyone seeing Ivo van Hove’s ponderous double bill After the Rehearsal / Persona can be tired and a bit grumpy going into a claustrophobic, impenetrable evening, downright sleepy by its last hour and not much the wiser about any of it by the end. The bit where Jan Versweyveld’s set fell apart and splashed into a lake was good though.

After the Rehearsal by Ingmar Bergman in a version by Karst Woudstra, and Persona by Ingmar Bergman in a version by Peter Van Kraaij, is booking until the 30th of September at the Barbican Theatre.

Running time: 3 hours 5 minutes including interval.

Photo credit: Jan Versweyveld.

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