THEATRE lEgEnd c soco (Venue 348) HHHHH
tHere are so many things right with this stylish take on the tale of theseus’s son Demophon from young company Obstacle productions, that it feels a little unfair to give it only three stars. But in spite of all its clever flourishes of stagecraft and the young cast’s abundance of wit and charm, the end result is oddly two dimensional. technical accomplishment is all very well, but it’s no substitute for generating emotional engagement.
David Asher and Clark Crewe get things off to a cracking start with some nicely judged comic preamble; unfortunately the believability of their characters only serves to highlight the shallowness of the main players.
As Demophon, a prince who goes looking for mythical beasts to slay only to find himself shipwrecked on an (almost) uninhabited island, Mark Armstrong seems to be defined by little more than his thirst for glory and, when he meets the beautiful Cora (Victoria Weir), by his all-consuming love for her. the whole point of Cora is that she is a blank slate – simple, childlike and entirely without dreams – so while we can pity her, we can’t really empathise. that leaves her father, Kalistrate (Miles Barden) as the only character with any depth – and he isn’t on stage for nearly long enough.
Until 30 August. Today 5:50pm.