Christina Rossetti's Goblin Market
Liverpool University Drama Society
theSpace @ Surgeon's Hall
Christina Rossetti's famous 19th century poem is a many-layered work filled with subtext, ideological design and social commentary. The basic story of the two girls tempted by Goblin fruit, is a thinly-veiled cowl to hold in place the obvious sapphic imagery and excessive sexual imagery.
While Liverpool University Drama Society has incorporated the inherent sexuality into the physical theatre, the deeper subtexts fall to the wayside, including a problematic direction taken with the younger sister Lizzie. The additional character-building dialogue only serves to confuse the audience and make less clear the age and intentions of the characters.
Whilst the adaptation is perfunctionary, with some of the delivery failing to carry the meter and complexity of the poem, the performance is contrastingly well performed and the costuming and choreography are both inventively and surprisingly realised.
Had the play sought to remain closer to the text, or to have adapted it further, then it could have proven a wonderful production. Unfortunately it ends up being neither one thing nor the other.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan