Venue: Almeida Theatre
15th January 2014 at 7.00pm
Director: Rupert Goold
Designer: Es Devlin
Director, Rupert Goold wanted to convey to the audience a message that materialism was detrimental to mental stability. This was through the use of the genre of satire and Epic Theatre techniques to create a mocking parody of 80s culture and lifestyle. Through the heighten realism of the musical, Goold portrayed the vicious cycle of capitalism and consumerism; which sucks in yuppies; and becomes inescapable until they lose touch with reality.
The main message that the designer was trying to express was one that mirrored Goold’s. They tried to portray a modern set which not only embedded context but also related to Bateman himself. The set depicted elements of the 80s lifestyle: flamboyant homes, expensive paintings and the extrovert lifestyle. As Goold wanted to convey a message that the more you yearn for something, the further away it becomes, this was illustrated through the set design, as it was an inverse proscenium arch. It seemed as if the stage goes into itself and then hits a dead end, this mirrors Batemans life as he is quickly evolving into a big name and it is as if his opportunities are endless, however his ‘dead end’ so to speak is finding someone ‘better’ than him: Paul Owen.
As the venue was a small theatre, the auditorium itself was intimate and lured us in. It felt as if the audience were with the actors in a sense. At the start, the actors broke the fourth wall, and were scattered around the auditorium, breaking into the first song. This engaged me more as the actors were amongst us and made eye contact with us on certain lines of the song. The space and intimacy of the theatre added to the atmosphere, as you felt as if you were going on Bateman’s journey with him, with the highs and lows, climactic moments and the build-up in tension.
The set seemed a mixture of representational and naturalistic as it portrayed the typical...