• Amy Toledano

Persona presented by Riverside Studios

Image courtesy of Michael Wharley

What is it? 

Ingar Bergman’s Persona at the newly refurbished Riverside Studios.

What's it all about? 

One of the most controversial films of the 20th Century is adapted for the stage to re-open The iconic Riverside Studios in West London.

How did it make me feel? 

If one has seen the original film, it is easy to find multiple comparisons between the film and the stage adaptation. However as someone who hasn't seen the original film it was lovely to go in to in this production with no pre-conceived ideas. 

Silences are golden in this 90 minute play. Alice Krige’s Alma and Nobuhle Mnccwengi’s Elizabet are powerful forces to be reckoned with. Both actors give a masterclass in performance. In Krige’s case creating a monologue that has so much intensity and grace, and with Mnccwengi that dialogue can be physical and not just vocal. The actors never leave the stage once making you focus on all the nuances being presented to you. The Earth Harp (played by William Close) envelopes the audience, with an incredibly powerful force of music and soundscape, a sheer delight to tantalise the senses. Director Paul Schoolman also plays the Narrator and never distracts from the action happening on stage. 

It is a very philosophical piece of theatre, asking questions about self-identity, the world around us, and what it would take for someone to listen and really hear us.

Anything Else? 

You do not have to see the original film to enjoy the stage adaptation and would recommend not comparing both entities as they are very different, which makes this show even more exciting. 

Claire-Monique x

Persona is playing at Riverside Studios till 23rd February 2020.

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