Theatre: Pictures at an execution
I WEEP AT MY PIANO BAC, LONDON
Saturday 16 January 1999
What it does do, in exploring the nature of the friendship, is bring two well known facts into closer proximity: Lorca's sexuality, and his brutal fate at the hands of the Fascists at the onset of the Spanish Civil War. Broadly irreverent, and fleetingly poignant, I Weep at My Piano creates striking visual correspondences between Lorca's unrequited desires and his lonely death.
The piece is framed as a flashback during the moment of execution - at the start, a woman (Hayley Carmichael) dressed in a man's baggy suit walks along a narrow walkway and kneels. This threatened moment of extinction haunts all the subsequent action, an hour of morbid games-playing and story-telling loaded with dramatic irony. No attempt is made to imitate the famous trio, or to put on accents - the audience even has to deduce who has been assigned which role, as no explanation is given in the programme, and the characters trail off when greeting each other ("You must be..." "Yes"). The costumes (sombreros, flowing scarves, cloaks) resemble Spanish fancy dress. Naomi Wilkinson's wonderful Dali-esque set, dominated by a surreal apartment room on stilts punctured by a large treetrunk, evokes a warped playground that, depending on the lighting, can seem heavenly or hellish.
There are times when the agile cast, directed by Paul Hunter, take such a whimsical route that you lose them completely. But the youthful exuberance is always traceable as the source of Lorca's pain - a means of bonding that prevents real proximity.
Richard Clews's bald, gangly Dali leaps away in horror every time Carmichael starts to edge her lips in his direction. Her Lorca is a lovably unlovable joker, at one point repeatedly pretending to kick the bucket to raise everyone's spirits: a drop-dead-gorgeous performance.
Booking: 0171-223 2223; to 31 January
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars
TVNetflix gets cryptic
TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth
Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 2 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 3 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 4 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
- 5 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
Better Call Saul: Breaking Bad spin-off gets release date, logo and ominous new trailer
Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Willow and Jaden Smith talk duality of apples, holographic realities and the melancholia of the ocean in incredible New York Times interview
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
G20 summit: David Cameron warns Vladimir Putin that Russia's relationship with the West is at a 'fork in the road' over Ukraine