The Changeling (Young Vic)

Posted on February 9, 2012

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Oh. My. God. This made my skin crawl.

Time for a confession. For all my free-wheeling, devil-may-care, wanton ways I am at heart a compulsive neat freak. So The Young Vic’s messy, frantic, chaotic production of ‘The Changeling‘ hit me on a visceral level.

That’s not a bad thing by the way.

By the end of the piece the set was in disarray, covered in all manner of fluids, the cast looking ragged from their performances. 

As I believe The Young Vic should, this Jacobean play has been given a modern make-over and a tale of schemes, murders, betrayals and manipulation has been filled to the brim… with jelly, and custard, and pimples and chocolate topping and dandruff and urine and punch and tequila and smoke and …. oh god I feel like I need a shower just talking about it.

It’s like the ‘food-sex’ scene from ‘9 1/2 Weeks‘ with a bit more murder.

The sight of  Daniel Cerqueira‘s De Flores made me look away. The sight of him kissing made me want to heave. Jessica Raine delivered a feisty, chillingly believable performance that holds the play together.

Others have said it already and I’ll echo them, what’s with the Young Vic and insane asylums at the moment? The sub-plot fails to work and seems quite pointless in the scheme of the play. The use of food in place of bodily fluids may be sexual for some, but for me it was hardly enticing (I don’t mind food-play in the bedroom as long as I am in the moment, and can have a shower afterwards). And “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)”? Well I was NOT expecting that!

By the end of the piece the set was in disarray, covered in all manner of fluids, the cast looking ragged from their performances.

For the life of me I can’t understand why the audience was not allowed to take drinks into the theatre.

It’s visceral. It’s alive. I can’t say I ‘enjoyed’ it so much as I ‘experienced’ it, and needed a drink afterward.

Verdict: Pass me the Dettol and a mop, this is one messy, insane piece of theatre.

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