10 November 2016
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The rise of cinema led many to predict the demise of theatre. And, although the art forms coexist, the senior medium has increasingly made envious raids on the newcomer for material (numerous musicals adapted from movies) and design: sliding frames and projections have created a fluid and visually led approach that might be known as “screen-theatre”.
This style was led by Rupert Goold and Robert Icke, first with their Headlong company and then at the Almeida, and is given its biggest platform yet with Icke’s National Theatre debut, The Red Barn, an adaptation by David Hare of Georges Simenon’s 1968 novel La Main.
Hare has forwarded the story to 1969, starting five days after President Richard Nixon’s first inauguration. Two couples, weekending in Connecticut, get caught in a snowstorm, from which only three people return. The widowed Mona subsequently begins an affair in New York with Donald, who represents double moral jeopardy as the husband of her best friend, Ingrid, and also the best friend of her husband, Ray.
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