Saturday, January 7, 2012

Review: Howl's Moving Castle

I've never read the book or seen the movie of Howl's Moving Castle, so I had no idea what to expect from the play.

I read a review that raved about Stephen Fry's narration and the innovative way of projecting the set onto a 3D cardboard backdrop.

The opening moments were certainly promising. The projection truly was clever and engaging. But, from the moment the real actors stepped on stage, I felt like I was watching a pantomime.

The projection works in isolation, but doesn't add to live action any more than a painted backdrop does.

This made me think about other shows that use projection, like War Horse, Ghost, and the revised Phantom. I realised that the same was true: projection can add a layer of depth, but doesn't seem able to replace a set piece without damaging the illusion.

Unfortunately, the show didn't really improve from there. I found myself glad when it ended less than an hour and a half later.

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