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How are you bringing Dante’s terrifying and life affirming quest through the circles of the inferno, purgatory and paradise to life?
A chorus of five flips between about 40 characters in around 90 minutes, so everything is quite physicalized with broad brushstrokes to make those changes clear.
It’s a radical retelling of the epic poem, tell us more about the multimedia you are using.
We wanted to utilise video, animation, sounds and music and layer them within the performance to enhance and augment the sense of scale and the kaleidoscopic nature of the story’s structure. It’s useful, not just as a storytelling device but also as a structural tool to help us get from one place to another seamlessly. Matt and Richard, our animator and sound designer have done some incredible work to draw the audience into this fantastical underworld.
Tell us about the mysterious stranger in the play.
Now, now, it wouldn’t be much of a mystery if I told you everything would it? You’ll have to wait and see. No Spoilers here!
What was the response to your original run of Dante’s Divine Comedy?
Extremely positive, which can be quite a dangerous thing. It’s very easy to get complacent. So, we made sure we got precise feedback from the theatre and from some mentors whom we trust. As a result, we’ve really gone back to try and discover what worked and what didn’t. We’re completely reimagining certain parts that we weren’t entirely happy with first time round.
How did you go about casting for the current production and what can we expect from them?
Auditions and recalls and we picked the best cast we could. We were looking for people who were generous and would work well as a team; so we got them to do some odd creative tasks in groups to see how far they were willing to push themselves, it wasn’t the end result but how they got there that mattered to us. I think you will see a group of very tight knit performers working hard, working for each other.
What do you expect the audience reaction to be?
I think it’s important to remember that this is a story inspired by the divine comedy rather than a direct telling. So, I think audience reactions will be dependent on how loyal they are to the original text and how willing they are to accept the changes we have made. It was important to us to bring focus to the clash between medieval morality and modern-day morality.
Finally, what is the ethos of So It Goes Theatre?
We like productions that create new worlds in unusual spaces. We favour productions that involve majority female casts and we like to help develop performers in a (usually) ensemble context. We have told a fair balance of old stories and brand-new ones we have created ourselves.
DANTE’S DIVINE COMEDY
BARON’S COURT THEATRE 5TH-30TH SEPTEMBER 2017
-7:30PM, MATINEE 2:30PM
-£14 (£12 CONCESSIONS)
0208 932 4747
Dante’s Divine Comedy is a journey to hell and back. The epic poem is brought kicking and screaming into the 21st century with imaginative choreography, gorgeous multimedia and a vast array of colourful characters.
After a long period in exile, and riddled with grief over the death of his love Dante attempts to take his own life. But he is stopped by a mysterious stranger who leads him on a terrifying and life affirming quest through the circles of the inferno, purgatory and paradise.