Wilde night out at the Nuffield

Went to the preview night of Oscar Wilde’s Salome at the Nuffield Theatre yesterday. It’s 100 years since this play, based on story of King Herod’s step daughter and John the Baptist, was first performed in Britain. Although originally written in French, the play was intended to debue in London but was banned due to its portrayal of biblical characters. According to the programme, although performed widely abroad, it is 20 years since it was last seen in Britain.

The actors wore modern attire and the stage was decked out as some sort of missile bunker but the dialogue had not been forced to fit in the way which spoils many updated plays. The set itself was quite impressive, using all three dimensions to good effect. The use of a projector and screens to depict off-stage action also worked well (and it’s not often you see a Thinkpad on stage).

Kate McGuinness played a wonderfully sultry Salome and Tim Woodward fitted the role of Herod well. Indeed, the performances were, on the whole, good, although the voice of the page grated a little and Herodias was over-played.

Salome runs until the 21st and, with plenty of action and more than a little blood and gore, it’s certainly worth a trip out.

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