Review: The Nightingale & The Rose & Other Tales
Image: Barons Court Theatre
"Here, at last, is a true lover!"
In a shady grove, surrounded by buzzing and budding creatures, on a branch of the tallest Oak tree, the Nightingale has sung of love her entire life.
Never has she seen or experienced it, but her heart tells her there is nothing so dear until she meets The Student and the dream she has always dreamed finally looks as though it could become a reality.
But dreams are hard to achieve and there is always a price to pay for ultimate happiness?
The Nightingale & the Rose is a tragic tale of love and ignorance; selflessness and waste.
Paired with The Birthday of the Infanta, Orange Moon presents two of Oscar Wilde's most haunting fairy tales in a new devised musical adaptation.
Timothy FletcherPerformance date: Wednesday 18 July 2018
Under the direction of Claudia Carroll, The Orange Moon Theatre company have produced a sublime reimagining of two of Oscar Wilde's stories; The Birthday of the Infanta and The Nightingale and The Rose.
Intelligently played out on the small stage of the Barons Court theatre, the director and her team have extruded forests and palaces from it's space, aided in no small part by the wondrous movement direction of Sara Page.
The players themselves are superb, each of them imparting their own distinct bouquet on this gloriously arranged performance.
Felix Grainger's exuberant Little Forest Boy plays a perfect counter to the fiendish irascibility of Hannah Webster's Infanta.
The scene of the Boy in the mirrored room is a delightful display of physical theatre, an art which this company clearly holds dear to it's heart.
The segue between Birthday and Nightingale is marked by a cello piece, performed by Victor Mellors, which is as achingly melancholic as the climaxes of both of these stories.
Mellors then goes on to play The Young Student in Nightingale and does so with a comedic nous that perfectly communicates his character's naivety.
The Nightingale herself is the most heartbreaking character on stage and is made so by Charlotte Sparey and her mournful nightingale song, a personal highlight in an excellent performance.
The sheer quality of the performances and the direction, not to mention the exhaustive preparation that has gone in to this production, have made it an absolute must see at the upcoming Camden Fringe Festival.
[The Nightingale & the Rose plays at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre from 1 to 3 August as part of The Camden fringe - tickets and details here.]
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