Wednesday, 18 March 2009

NOT: Madame de Sade, Wyndham's Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0DA

The third of the Donmar West End's blockbuster productions was the sold-out production of Madame de Sade, starring the venerable Dame Judy Dench. However, on the night Margaret and I saw her, she didn't blow me away. In fact, she even fluffed her lines a couple of times and had to stop obviously a couple of times, leaving her cast members to rescue her from a prolonged silence. Personally, I thought ex-Bond girl Rosamund Pike as Madame de Sade was much better, with her crisp clear tones and elegant and beautiful in her corsetted, crinolined silk gowns.

Further, both Margaret and I found the story of six women variously involved in the perversions of the Marquis de Sade (oddly, written by a Japanese author) to be a bit stressful to sit through after a long day. Along with that, it was at times incomprehensible, with strange fantastical interludes and particularly inexplicable behaviour by the Madame. Overall, not a particularly enjoyable theatrical experience.

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