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2018 Fringe Review: Guenevere

This moving verse play offers Guenevere's perspective on Arthur's demise

Lucky Wench Productions’ production of Guenevere is a moving piece which leads the audience through the last days of King Arthur through the eyes of queen-turned-nun Guenevere.

One can interpret playwright John Richardson’s imagery both literally and symbolically. This could best be seen in the “black bird” that some characters say is coming towards Camelot. Literally, black birds commonly fly throughout the British Isles. Yet symbolically, black birds are harbingers of death and icons of England’s royal families; thus, in Guenevere, the black bird could represent the Saxons coming to destroy Camelot.

The plot of the play is interesting, as many Arthurian myths don’t say what Guenevere would have gone through while Arthur and his remaining knights were out fighting. This absence of source material allows the plot to go in different ways than one may expect, keeping it fresh and nonrepetitive.

Guenevere’s sound design was one of its strongest elements, setting the tone with ambient soundscapes (such as clashing swords which underpinned the final battle scene, and a thunder strike as Arthur left Guenevere behind in a nunnery) while not being overbearing. This excellent sound design paired with stimulating visual effects to create an immersive atmosphere.

The nine-person cast uses the minimalist set with ease, immersing the audience in the action. Eric Smith’s obviously directed with a careful hand, as there were moments where if the audience wasn’t watching carefully, they would miss something that could be foreshadowing something later on.

Guenevere is a superb play with surprises, somber tones, and some slight comedy mixed in if you know where to look.

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