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La Musica

Published 5 October 2015

What’s it all about?

A failed marriage.

Several years after it ended, as they prepare to finalise their divorce, the former lovers meet in a French hotel room – the same hotel room in which they were once happy – to look back on their relationship and the deceit that came with it.

Who’s in it?

Sam Troughton and Emily Barclay play the couple in question. With their faces projected on screens for the first half of the production there’s nowhere for the performers to hide in this intimately staged piece.

Every look – every smirk, every glassy eye, every downward glance – is caught and enlarged for all to see as the pair capture the natural lyricism in Marguerite Duras’ poignant two-hander.

What should I look out for?

The grids on the stage in front of you, the hint on the back of your seat and the time-lapse footage that eventually explains what makes La Musica a promenade production.

The various ways in which the audience experiences the couple’s relationship. From the actors having their backs to the audience in the first half to the up close and personal approach that follows, the juxtaposition is striking.

In a nutshell?

Prepare to be immersed in a couple’s fraught past relationship in this modern and playful approach to Marguerite Duras’ 30-year-old two-hander.

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Will I like it?

La Musica hasn’t been seen in London for two decades. There’s a reason for that, and it’s probably that Duras’ story of two individuals, neither of which you are particularly compelled to like, is a bit of a strange beast. But in the Young Vic’s latest production for The Maria, director Jeff James’ use of different spaces – and technology – to heighten the pair’s emotional exchanges brings a dynamism and freshness to the piece that enables Troughton and Barclay’s performances – captivating in their own right – to be displayed in all their fascinating glory.

La Musica is playing at the Young Vic until 17 October. You can book tickets through the venue’s website.


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