The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Space E14, 24 February


Picture from Just Enough Facebook page illustrating another venue

The Two Noble Kinsmen may be the last play that Shakespeare contributed to (he collaborated with John Fletcher).  It’s based on The Knight’s Tale from Chaucer, something that nobody has ever read through without dying of boredom.

On this occasion, the audience in The Space Arts Centre (it looked like an ex-church to me) managed to outnumber the cast by 12 to 9.  In fact, given the resonant church acoustic and the lack of absorbing bodies, the director could have been more careful about actors facing away from the audience.  But an approach based on singing, dance and stylisation seemed very effective to me.  Palamon and Arcite painting each other’s naked torsos with metallic paint had a disturbing eroticism, as indeed did their relationship in general and Emilia’s remembering her dead childhood friend Davina.

Emilia (a very lovely Sorcha Finch-Murray) had some very lovely speeches; otherwise it was the musical interludes that were most effective for me.  I didn’t really understand why her sister  Hippolyta was played as a brash American (apart from the actress Stacy Sobieski herself being American).  Jason Devoy was commanding as Theseus and put-upon as the Jailer.

I certainly think that people should go to this show and see what The Two Noble Kinsmen is all about.  Many thanks to MAST Stage Productions and Just Enough for putting it on!

So that just leaves Two Gentlemen of Verona and 2 & 3 Henry VI for me to achieve Shakespearean completeness.

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One Response to “The Two Noble Kinsmen, The Space E14, 24 February”

  1. florencewalker Says:

    I’ve got two plays to go…..Titus A and Henry VIii! I saw the Two Noble Kinsmen yesterday at the Space Arts Centre and really enjoyed it: especially the somewhat ethereal movement and verse sections. Clever! Exploration of human sexuality was interesting too… Just Enough hit the mark for me.

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