Assassins at Chichester 2023

Started by scenicdesign71, Jun 11, 2023, 04:55 AM

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According to a poster on the FB group:

Quote from: Leon Ferguson on Saturday, June 10, 2023 in Finishing The Chat (Facebook group)Radical new production of Assassins at Chichester Festival Theatre. The auditorium is a presidential rally with cheerleaders and Trump lookalike in the Proprietor role, with the Balladeer split between CBS/Fox News anchors. Screens detailing presidents and their assassins help us Brits not familiar with the less well-known. Some outstanding performances among all the very good ones. Well worth the hike.

It's hardly cause for celebration that recent history has made Sondheim and Weidman's dark fantasia more effortlessly legible than ever before, no more or less surreal than our stomach-churning everyday reality has already become.  But the images on CFT's website make me smack my forehead in admiration of some of director Polly Findlay's contemporizing choices, as described by Mr. Ferguson (above) and another FB commenter who opines:

Quote from: Steven Mercer-Murray on Sunday, June 11, 2023 in Finishing The Chat (Facebook group)I've seen Assassins several times, but this production genuinely gave me new shocks and felt scarier than any other I've seen. The shifted focus towards the Proprietor inciting violence and the Balladeer(s) reporting it as news anchors desperate for a new scoop gave it brand new resonance post-Trump. This production wouldn't have made sense even 10 years ago which made it feel as if it had been written for a 2020's audience. The conceptual direction was so fully realised and convincing, it felt like this concept was actually the intention of the authors.

Among the reviews I've read so far, this one stands out:

Should this production happen to cross the Atlantic (as seems not-unlikely), I'd be very curious to see it -- armed with some Pepto, and maybe a Xanax or two.  (As I said on FB, in response to Mr. Mercer-Murray's comment: despite having seen four or five productions of Assassins myself, including the original 1990 Off B'way and 2004 Broadway versions, and designed an Off-West End production of it in 2012, Ms. Findlay's new interpretation is the first I've heard about that sounds as though it might give me nightmares, or perhaps a panic attack: Sondheim for the era of doomscrolling).