Salomé

By Kelly

I researched the story of Salomé before entering the theatre, because I was aware it was a story from the bible, and I figured it would help me follow the story better. It still did not prepare me for the spectacle that was Salomé, written and directed by Yal Farber. Before the show, we had attended a talk with her, and could get a better understanding of the show and the themes that we would be seeing that night. It allowed us as an audience to get insight to what the director was intending before we saw it. While this would end up influencing how we saw the show, I personally enjoyed being able to know the small nuances to look for during the show.

Even with the knowledge of the director’s intentions, it was very easy to get drawn into the show. Music was extremely important; the entire show was mostly accompanied by two women who were singing in the background. Originally, I believed that the singing was intended to be the “unspoken” voice of Salomé, but it was hard to tell by the end. It still added a very effective atmosphere and set the mood for different scenes for the audience. Sand was also a commonly used prop, even being dropped from above the stage towards the beginning. The set itself was also very obviously thought out. The surrounding set pieces were very simple, but the rotation stage was very effective in the show.

Often rotation stages are difficult to use because they can be extremely distracting. When the audience is focusing on what the stage is doing, it is easy to lose what characters are doing in a scene. However, the rotation stage in Salomé is expertly used. It moved quite slow, and characters often moved slowly at the same time. This allowed the audience to keep track of the scene, and allowed the actors to show off their amazing control. They would move very smoothly and with purpose, despite the difficulty of doing so in slow motion. It made it more impressive when actors began lifting or doing more strenuous tasks, such as lifting the ladder holding Salomé towards the end of the show.

There were scenes that words could not describe for me personally. Farber made spectacular decisions when it came to how the actors portrayed different parts of the story. The scene where Salomé finally begins speaking effectively told me how she was making a powerful decision and essentially finding her own voice. I think the decision to not have her speak until this moment allowed the audience to understand how she truly had no agency, as Farber said in the pre-show talk.

I believed that this show did extremely well in expressing what the director intended, and that it left the audience feeling something new by the end, even if they were not sure what it was.