Deborah Warner's Traviata misses the wood for the trees
(Günter Haumer’s Douphol here btw, not Saimir Pirgu’s Alfredo)
Such was the original title of my review, which you can read here. Warner writes in the programme booklet that she has seen many Traviata productions which bored her and one which she felt couldn’t be bettered (rip-off couch pictured). But even copying Decker the entire way through would have made for a more bearable evening that this stale-on-arrival, vacuous ‘updating’. Never mind that the characters don’t get defined or placed in any graspable social world, as theatre this was one long embarrassment from start to finish: Germont walking into Violetta’s life with utterly random blocking, that eye-scarring matador scene, and Violetta’s fall, as if hitting the ground as quickly as possible were some competitive event. Really a litany of ineptitude and mindlessness could be compiled here; suffice it to say one wouldn’t have to visit many local barns to witness more competent Bauerntheater.