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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: May 17, 2011 @ 4:42 pm

    The devil in Pygmalion’s detail – and win some tickets

    Laurence Mackin

    One of the most impressive aspects of the Abbey Theatre’s current production of Pygmalion is the dramatic devils in the detail. There has been plenty of praise for Peter O’Brien’s costumes, but the set design and the almost incidental paraphernalia on the cavernous stage are worth a close look.

    The towering bookshelves, the furniture polished to within an inch of its lustrous life, even the items scattered on the desks and tables around which the characters pirouette and pontificate, have been giving a long, hard look at by the Abbey’s set-design team.

    You can get a better appreciation for the approach in a video from the Abbey’s production team. Many theatrical productions now produce film-style trailers for their shows, although they are not always a success – As You Are Now So Once Were We got strong reviews in last year’s Dublin Fringe Festival but this trailer for the show had me laughing out loud. Acting for the stage and for the screen are very different beasts, and what may have seemed controlled and powerful in the theatre comes across here as completely over the top.

    This Abbey film, though, is not so much a trailer as a look at the work and effort that has gone into the production, and it gives a strong sense of the show’s texture and feel. So here it is.

    Of course, there is no substitute for personal experience, so we have two pairs of tickets for this Friday’s performance of Pygmalion to give away (May 20th). To win, email your contact details to lmackin@irishtimes.com with the answer to this question: who is the set designer in this production of Pygmalion (it’s in the film)?

    The first two correct answers get the tickets.

    UPDATE: Tickets are now gone and the winners have been informed by email. Many thanks for your numerous emails.


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