Rope – Almeida Theatre

As one of the few people on the planet who has never seen the Hitchcock film version of Rope this was one with no preconceived expectations.
The intimate space of the Almeida Theatre in Islington has been transformed for this production into ‘theatre in the round’ – well more octagonal than round but you get the idea. Between the audience a simple set summounted by a huge glass dome. Its not an entirely sucessful stage arrangement – a door stage right and a fireplace stage left give some sense of direction but its an odly uninspiring set.

A bit of a slow burner – a body dumped into a box mid stage and the first 15 mins played out in virtual darkness. Yes its mentioned in the script but it does result in taking a while for the audience to engage (as witnessed by the shuffling of feet, rustling of programmes etc)
Played through without interval the tension does build once the lights are turned on but based on the original novel it is a strangely dated affair. When the time comes for the killers to face their justice I just didnt care.
Well performed but one for the history books.

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