His Dark Materials - a masterpiece of family theatre

The Times has reviewed Birmingham REP's production of His Dark Materials, His Dark Materials at the Birmingham Repertory, which I earlier noted was the Guardian's pick of the week, Birmingham REP's His Dark Materials - Guardian Pick of the Week, commenting that if the rest of the production was as absorbing as it's last 90 minutes "this would be a masterpiece of family theatre", http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/theatre/article5988144.ece.

Image by Catherine Ashmore, reproduced from http://www.createdinbirmingham.com/2009/03/24/his-dark-materials-part-1/

The Times notes that the first play of the two three-hour plays is a problem-solving exercise as much as a drama, commenting on the some of the problems from the script and the busy story. The second play, the second half of the story, is stronger, particularly as it sits firmly with the deeper questions of the book in Lyra and Will's journey to the underworld.

The tiny spies, the Gallivespians, are realised with tiny puppets, booming voices and video cameras. They are the biggest leap into the theatrical imagination here, and a total success.

The end to the play in travelling through the artifice concludes the story in a way 'shared by all the best fantasies' that 'we must build Heaven on Earth, “because there is no elsewhere" and therefore 'our obligation to live in the real world', http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/stage/theatre/article5988144.ece.


Popular Posts