Love Is My Sin
Conceived and directed by Peter Brook
Starring Natasha Parry, Michael Pennington
March 25-April 17, 2010
Theatre for a New Audience
The Duke on 42nd Street
229 West 42nd Street
Peter Brook has distilling his art to the essence of simplicity over the years, and lately has put onstage what is willfully untheatrical. Last season brought The Grand Inquisitor, his stillborn adaptation of a section of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. Now, with Love Is My Sin, Brook returns to his biggest love—Shakespeare.
Throughout, they alternate readings until the final sonnet (number 116), in which they alternate each line and break up its final line so he begins and she finishes. Pennington seems more naturally at ease playing his “character” than Perry, who is more formal in her bearing, but together they show how reciting poetry can be artful in its simplicity.
Brook’s staging is likewise simple: a few chairs and tables for his couple to sit on or stand near; they also walk around and react to the other’s lines. Brook also has a musician, Franck Krawczyk, playing the baroque music of French composer Louis Couperin alternately on accordion and keyboard; these brief musical interludes interspersed among the sonnets are nice, but only serve to lengthen the performance to 45 minutes.
If Love Is My Sin breaks no new ground in attempting to dramatize Shakespeare’s sonnets, hearing this immortal poetry spoken by Pennington and Perry is sufficient.
originally posted on timessquare.com