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Nine Inch Nails in the suburbs
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I saw Speaking In Tongues last night, the stage play later adapted for the film Lantana. The script is very strong, and I personally loved that the already stylised nature of the script was taken further by the director. I can, however, see that it has it's disadvantages – in some parts, the actors' performances could have benefited from being more relaxed and naturalistic, even within the stylistic framework imposed by the staging. On the whole, I thought the four actors, each playing two or three characters, did very well. The combination of script, performance and design held my attention well, which is hard to do, sadly.
I particularly enjoyed the play's design, most of which was by the director herself. To great effect, the sound design heavily featured tracks from Nine Inch Nails' collection of instrumental mood pieces, Ghosts I-IV. A piece composed and hummed by the daughter of a crew member worked well for an emotive scene that needed something different. Only issue I had with sound design was that the throbbing drum/heart sound was too loud in parts and kept running too long. Building the volume more gradually would have added to the effect and prevented it from being a distraction.

White scrim screens were the highlight of the set design, with effective lighting against them from behind. Projected slides both left and right helped set both scene and mood effectively. (Mostly: what was with that purple one showing up towards the end?) Lighting against the steps/platforms that formed the performance space also worked well.

All in all, a good night out. Speaking In Tongues is on tonight, tomorrow and closing Saturday at STAG in Strathmore.
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