theSpace on the Mile
In this visually updated version of Oscar Wilde's classically poetic musing on the story of Salome, Herod and the death of John the Baptist, the action has been re-imagined into an idealised modern day east, with the soldiers of Herod bedecked in military camouflage gear and carrying semi-automatic pistols.
Despite this, the text of the play is still the familiar original English translation, with no frills added to the dialogue which might draw away from the purity of the play, yet occasionally seems at odds with the visuals.
Throughout the story of inappropriate amorousness, the antagonistic relationships between Salome and Herod are drawn out to full effect, with his lusty simpering contrasted with the seething snipes from his all too aware wife. The only role which is more or less thankless is that of the doomed Jokanaan, spouting his religious fervour with a grim and stony impression.
The resulting piece is a decent if unremarkable working of the play.
Reviewer: Graeme Strachan