Don Juan in Soho
29/05/2009 - 20/06/2009
Spend the night with the Master of Seduction!
A comedy blacker than any little black book …
Dunedin is about to get a whole lot hotter… Don Juan was a hero-villain in folk legend. His fame as a master seducer, a licentious rogue, spread through Europe in the 17th Century. Fathers, brothers and suitors hunted him down to make him repent, but to no avail. The women, the damsels, maidens and victim-virgins all lived in fearful longing that one day he might cross their path. Men wanted to be him and women longed to be with him. He was a larger than life man known for his love-making skills, his techniques in combat and his life philosophies. The Don Juan legend has been morphed innumerable times and is as set in our collective psyche as Casanova and Lothario. French playwright Moliere used the tale for the final in his ‘hypocrisy trilogy’. He has Don Juan sent to hell for refusing to repent for his lust, even after warnings received from a statue.
Playwright Patrick Marber has taken Moliere’s Don Juan: magnetic, defiant, reprehensible, and set him in modern day contemporary Soho, London.
Hypocrisy is Marber’s main theme as shown through the post-modern culture of the individual as seen in blogs and paparazzi type media. Where one and all aims for fame, where every one expects the world at large to be interested in their inner-dialogue blogs and party photos on Facebook. Don Juan will have none of it – he prefers the base but pure itch of desire above the tawdry confessional.
On the Fortune’s main stage we will see Marber’s wickedly funny DJ! Essentially, a sex addict, indifferent to the destruction he creates, in his astonishing drive for satisfaction. And yet, there is nobility in his audacity, admiration for his arrogance – for totally without apology – he is loyal to his own desires. Even though his fate is an inner bareness soaked in sleaze and ending with a murder, which sounds like retribution, but Marber leaves any moralising up to his audience.
"We live in an age of hypocrisy – don’t confuse it with authenticity"
Don Juan in Marber’s Don Juan
Directed by Ross Jolly who says Marber’s script is faithful to the formal strangely archaic language of Moliere, yet with a modern quality. The play is existential and ethereal and that will be reflected in the simple set design and lighting which is set dark to emphasise mostly, the intercourse of the actors. But let us not forget the Don Juan in Soho is very very funny!
"All the other vices of mankind are opened to censure, and everyone is at liberty to attack them boldly; but hypocrisy is a privileged vice which closes the mouth of everyone."
D J in Molière’s Don Juan
May 29 – June 20
Show Times: Tuesday 6pm; Wed – Sat 7.30 pm; Sunday 4pm
Also the first Sunday of the Don Juan season we will have hosted tours of the theatre between 1 & 2 pm free of charge. Just meet us in the foyer!
For more information on Don Juan contact marketing on 477 1693 to book go to: www.fortunetheatre.co.nz or phone box office on: 477 8323
Aaron Alexander: Don Juan
Simon O'Connor: Louis
Alex Greig: Colm
Jeff Kingsford-Brown: Pete/Vagabond
Gavin Rutherford: Stan
Mark Neilson: Statue
Allan Henry: Aloysius
Amy Tarleton: Lotti/Ruby
Claire Dougan: Elvira
Tansy Hayden: Mattie/Dalia
Brendan van den Berg: Stage Manager
Peter King & Matt Best: Set Design
Mary Anne Wright-Smyth: Costume Design
Phillip Dexter: Lighting Design
Gary Keirle: Lighting Operator
Bex de Prospo & Ross Jolly: Sound Design
Bex de Prospo: Sound Operator
Brendan van den Berg & Bek Sherratt: Props
Allan Henry: Fight Choreographer
Marti Rowe: Graphic Design
Matt Best: Photographer
Don Juan deliciously mines modern moral melodrama
Review by Barbara Frame 02nd Jun 2009
Don Juan is bad: selfishly, irredeemably bad. He fornicates, takes drugs and lies. He’s serious, but only about himself. He schemes and lies. Hearts break. People die. Women adore him.
Yet Juan has his own code. He wants to live, but only as he pleases. Fearing death, he prefers it to changing his ways.
Playwright Patrick Marber’s Don Juan is the latest in a long, long line, and descends most directly from Molière’s Dom Juan, ou le Festin du Pierre. The device of the statue, in particular, doesn’t make complete sense without some knowledge of the play’s 17th-century antecedent.
Ross Jolly’s production emphasises the high melodrama: the comedy, the violence, the excess of just about everything. It brings out the dark side of this modern morality tale, which attacks preoccupations with trivia, "issues," and the narcissistic blogging culture, and demands that we at least consider whether Don Juan’s approach to life isn’t more honest and refreshing.
Aaron Alexander plays him with Byronic charm and insolence. Most of the audience will relate more directly to his sidekick Stan (Gavin Rutherford), the keeper of the BlackBerry on which his boss’s conquests are recorded. He never quite figures his master out and is, when all’s said and done, in it for the money.
The action takes place on an opulently minimalist set featuring a decadently fuchsia-pink leather sofa.
Is Don Juan really someone the world would be better off without? If you want to know you’ll have to see this raucous, sexy, funny, demanding, stylish and definitely adults-only play, and try to figure it out for yourself.
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