THEATRE REVIEW: Pitcairn ★★
Warwick Arts Centre
21st October 2014
When you walk into the theatre, on stage you are immediately caught by the projection of waves hitting against rocks at sea, whilst the set is made of rocks, with a bell one side and a basket full of coconuts on the opposite side. Behind all of this is a wall of rocks, with a gap in the middle for the actors to walk through. Lastly there is a strip of green lighting on the wall, with leaves and twigs hanging off the side of it, draping down.
In 1789, Captain Bligh's ship crew, along with Tahitians lovers and followers, arrive in Pitcairn to take over the remote island, but throughout the play, the crews greed gets the better of them, sleeping with each others lovers, and the followers of Tahiti wanting to return to their main land, and when the ship they arrive on is burned down, they are then stranded.
The way the actors portray their characters is very realistic, along with the costumes and tribal markings they bare on their bodies. You become immersed into the story, helped by Hiti, the narrator of the story, who is a young boy who has an affection for Mata, who also shares the narration with Hiti. Both their performances draws you in and their story is a strong focus on the play, one which myself and the audience laughed along with and really hoped that these two characters would get together, and both, among with the majority of the cast, felt like very rounded characters.
The stage was cleverly used for different settings, with the set at the back moving to show this. The pace and tone was not a struggle to understand, and I would say that this would be a show that anyone of any age could come to as a result, and the way they portrayed the serious matter of rape, shown on stage, was handled very maturely.
There is though a lot of humor to balance out the story, especially from Hiti, and the audience interaction in both his and Mata's characters involved them asking questions to the audience and sitting with them to watch the story unfold and certain parts of the play. I think that having the narration was also a good point to have for the play, to help the audience understand certain situations that might of been happening throughout the production.
Being a cleverly written and directed play, Pitcairn is a show that has a lot of twist and turns, but fails to really capture the audience's attention.