Tickets and more information: https://www.riversidestudios.co.uk/book/persona
Booking until: 23rd February 2020
Run time: 1hr 30 mins
Adapted and translated from acclaimed filmmaker Ingmar Bergman’s original script, Persona follows Alma, a doctor who is assigned to an actress named Elizabet who has stopped speaking. Despite attempting to be somewhat of a psychological thriller, instead the production becomes a very boring and slow moving production.
That’s not to say it’s a bad production. The intimate space of the Riverside Studios was a really great fit for this play, given most of the time the focus is on just Alma and Elizabet. Alice Krige and Nobhule Mngcwengi provide excellent performances as both women. The projection design by P J McEvoy is brilliantly atmospheric, particularly the sequence with the waves.
However, it just was not interesting at all. Much like it’s greyed out set design, it was just bland. I felt a lot of the text was just made up with fillers to make up the 90 minute running time. This, I feel, includes the huge selling point go the Earth Harp. Although the music from this spectacle of an instrument is really impressive, I absolutely did not see the point of this being added to the production. The play on it’s own is very quiet and very understated. And then the atmosphere created from that is ruined when this massive instrument comes into it. After a while, it just got boring hearing the music pop up in random places of the play.
I have to note that the Riverside Studios has just completed it’s renovation and it’s an absolutely beautiful space. This isn’t a bad play to start your visits there with but it’s not a great one either. If you’re a fan of Ingmar Bergman’s then you’d like this the most.
Until next time,