Stripped of all artifice, the minimalist staging portrays and expresses the distress and the solitude of three characters in their headlong quest for life, for death.
... a very particular flavour which conserves the joy, melancholy and sincerity of the characters, and their weaknesses.
When the theatre meddles with painful social problems, inviting us with sensitivity and emotion to question our own judgements.
... Tim Northam's fascinating stage design, made up of metal rung and cage structures which gradually close in around Don Giovanni.
For this new Pelléas, the director rejoins her accomplice Tim Northam, who signs the costumes and the sets... neither abstract nor too symbolist / lic, Bastet’s Pelléas goes to the core of things... The new production of Pelléas et Mélisande presented by Angers Nantes Opéra permits the theatre to reinvest the stage.
This implacable soul x-ray has as it’s surround a standing set conceived by Tim Northam... where the characters trail around their neuroses in their faultless 1950s costumes.
And with what gestural simplicity Emmanuel Bastet stirs her singers and touches us. All said and done, it is... the most beautiful Orphée yet seen. These autumnal Elysian fields where a dream of ‘les années folles’ dissolves, a time of lost illusions.
These images, above all not a plethora, adopt oniristic hues under the honed lighting of François Thouret and in the stage designs of Tim Northam, the latter having the gift of transporting the spectator from the darkest pits of hell to an autumn dream of Elysian fields.
We come next to the veritable protagonist: Emmanuelle Bastet’s direction and her creative team. The intelligent and sensitive sets of the designer Tim Northam are at the same time stylized and economic. His concept… brilliantly matches François Thouret’s successful lighting. Together they establish very real and distinct atmospheres… Northam also designed the elegant costumes, evocative of a dreamed up 18th century.
The space imagined by Tim Northam is stripped down and nude... 3 characters,
prisoners of their costumes as they are of their lives, tear eachother apart in full view.
... the aesthetic envelope is particularly nurtured and is one of the protagonists. It's porosity is that of thought itself.
Graham Vick creates a solid show which benefits from Tim Northam’s sets and costumes. Sombre and claustrophobic spaces for the palaces of Laios and Œdipe; king and courtiers in dark evening gowns and suits; a lightless world of power. A surreal landscape for the Sphinx, a “belle dame sans merci”, decked out in sequins who seems to step out of a sinister edition of the Merry Widow. A plain of olive trees, bathed in sunlight, where Oedipus, guilty then innocent, meets his death, seen almost as a Christian resurrection in Enesco’s drama.
In an impressive and simple set designed by Tim Northam Hélène Vincent favourises a succession of short scenes... the actors find within it their dose of liberty.
Tim Northam’s set is magical, from one moment to the next bare and “lived in”, clamorous and cold, neutral and peopled by the colours of the canvas which we shall never see, but which we “hear”.
Hélène Vincent’s stage direction relies on a transformable set, as superbly cold as anguish itself, signed by Tim Northam... the feeling of unbearable imprisonment.
The technical side of the production has been sorted out perfectly, down to the last details... Almost silently, the atmosphere changes from scene to scene. One moment we see a drab village or railroad staton, next we find ourselves on a foreboding barren plain.
The non-specific “renaissance” richness of the costumes gives only as much sense of where or when Illyria might be as we need. The interpretation is created not only by good ensemble acting, but by imaginative setting and lighting.
... and if all of that can be sensed, if all of that fizzes, it’s thanks to the director: Hélène Vincent... Tim Northam’s sets and costumes are delightful.
Marina Caderone’s production, on a thrust staging designed by Tim Northam… calls up this world with brilliantly suggestive detail... it not only feels right, but surges compellingly through the debates.