Marguerite Duras’ piece about a divorced couple examines the amount of pain we are able to inflict on those that we love in an intense and moving production directed by Jeff James.
As the audience steps into the auditorium, it is immediately clear that this is going to be an extremely creative and powerful performance that will grab the audience’s attention right away. On the left hand side of the space is a square marked out by metal railings, while on the right hand side is a platform where Emily Barclay and Sam Troughton are sitting above the audience with their backs to them.
The first part of the performance keeps the audience’s attention on the back of the wall, with two projection screens concentrating on Barclay and Troughton as they talk through their relationship and how it went wrong. By performing it in this way, the production has a very stripped back feel about it, allowing the audience to really focus on the conversation in which the characters are having.
It is a very psychological piece that gets to the heart of a relationship that has gone wrong that is filled with both bitter sweet memories and a wide range of emotions that perfectly balances the good times along with the bitterness and anger that has crept into the relationship.
Both Barclay and Troughton provide excellent performances as the couple who both believe that their marriage could have been saved had it not been for their flaws.There is a great chemistry between them that works extremely well and really make the audience believe in their relationship.
This is particularly seen in the second part of the performance when the action moves to the square and the audience begins to feel even more involved with the relationship and its outcome – which can make it feel uncomfortable to watch at times but it is extremely effective in holding the audience’s attention.
However, it can feel slightly soulless to watch and you don’t really get a sense of who the characters are -except of what they are like when they are together, making it difficult to relate to either of them. The linking section between the first part and the second is slightly clumsy and awkward – but considering that is down to the promenade part of the show, it is not that surprising but it breaks the flow of the story.
Jeff James’ direction shows plenty of imagination and creativity that adds to the tension already found in the play, making this a very intriguing piece of theatre to watch.
La Musica provides a fascinating insight into the way in which technology and imagination can be used to full effect when it comes to creating theatre. An extremely well thought out and creative production.
La Musica is performing at the Young Vic Theatre until the 17th October. For more information and to book tickets visit: http://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/la-musica .