REVIEW: THE DIVER, Soho Theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:24 17 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:14 07 September 2010

Three star rating FROM the outset this complex and multi-layered tale challenges viewers understanding and a degree of confusion remains throughout the saga of love, murder, betrayal and revenge. The tale begins as an unna

REVIEW: THE DIVER, Soho Theatre

Three star rating

FROM the outset this complex and multi-layered tale challenges viewers' understanding and a degree of confusion remains throughout the saga of love, murder, betrayal and revenge.

The tale begins as an unnamed woman (Kathryn Hunter) is led into the office of a police psychiatrist, played by Hideki Noda who also directs, ahead of being charged with the murder by arson of her lover's two children.

However, within the psychiatrist's office the multi-faceted plot has already begun to unfold.

Allied to the fast moving narrative, which is in part played in the Noh tradition - a major form of classic Japanese musical drama - the poetic, but often unexplained actions fail to ensure viewers gain full appreciation of an otherwise inventive plot.

The needlessly complex depiction is frustratingly unable to fully benefit from an astonishingly versatile set.

The imaginative use of Japanese fans, which one moment portray flowers, before reappearing as mobile phones, letters, arrows and even pizza slices helps move the story along.

And the ingenious use of bolts of multi-coloured silk, which seamlessly scamper from portraying a woman's robe, young child and diver's wound, work equally well.

Nevertheless, ultimately I was left with a sense of disappointment for a clever plot and outstanding set that were unnecessarily burdened by an excessively complex portrayal.

Until July 19.

Simon Jackson

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