After The Tempest and Lord of the Flies, my last of three post-show Q&As with Lazarus Theatre company for their 2019 season at Greenwich Theatre was last night to their new version of Oscar Wilde’s Salome, adapted and directed (and designed!) by artistic director Ricky Dukes. Ending on a (messy!) high.
“Salomé, Salomé, dance for me.
I pray thee dance for me…”
Written (originally in French) in 1891, the same year as the decidedly different Lady Windermere’s Fan and A Woman of No Importance premiered, Salome was banned by the Lord Chamberlain and not seen publicly in the UK for another 40 years, long after Wilde’s death in 1900.
The censor would certainly have taken issue with Lazarus’ new take on Wilde’s take on the age-old Biblical story, with its regendered title character. Here, King Herod is obsessed with his stepson/nephew Salome and the Dance of the Seven Veils is a very explicit strip show, during which nothing is left to the imagination about the effect it has on the aroused monarch.
To discuss the implications – and celebrate highlights from Lazarus’ critically acclaimed 2019 season – I was joined after tonight’s performance by Ricky Dukes and as well as company members Jamie O’Neill (Herod), Annemarie Anang, David Clayton, Hattie Wilkinson and Cal Chapman as well as – once they’d showered after a wonderfully messy, wet and bloody ending (note still-red hands and feet: stage blood stains, folks!), Bailey Pilbeam (Salome), Jamal Renaldo and Michael Howlett.
Please watch and share!
— Terri Paddock (@TerriPaddock) May 21, 2019
Event photography by Peter Jones.