Thursday, 15 September 2016

Review: 'Breaking the Rules' By Clare Norburn

Hi everyone,

I had the pleasure of seeing 'Breaking the Rules' at St George's Church in Kendal, because it formed part of the Lake District Summer Music International Festival.

Gerald Kyd - Gesualdo
The Marian Consort
Jamie Akers - Lute

'Breaking the Rules' is a performance to celebrate Gesualdo's 450th birthday. The performance consists of a two hour monologue and the Marian Consort performing Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsies and Madrigril's. The Tenebrae Responsies are sacred pieces of music composed by Gesualdo and the Madrigril's are the pieces of music were Gesualdo started to explore the use of harmonics and chromatics, and that period in time it was just starting to come about.

'Breaking the Rules' is a one man concert drama that centres around the last of Carlo Gesualdo. Gesualdo is alone in his chapel on his family estate. But, Gesualdo has been living inside his castle for some time.
   Two weeks previous he lost his only son and heir, and Gesualdo himself now stares death in the face, knowing that he faces purgatory for the multitude of sins which he has committed.
   During his final day, Gesualdo is haunted by the memories of his first wife, Maria; who he murdered 23 years ago because she was having an affair with local nobleman, Fabrizio Carafe, the Duke of Andria. The only that will finally free him of these visions from the past is if he 'turns on' the music, which he himself has composed.
   Also, in the chapel with Gesualdo are his consort of singers and they help to provide a soundtrack into Gesualdo's mind, as well as to act as a trigger to help Gesualdo remember his important life events.

Gerald is absolutely fantastic outstanding as Gesualdo, because he makes him likeable; even though he has a very dark and intense past. The monologue is performed with a lot of depth and contrast; and this is due to Gesualdo reflecting back on his past as well as highlighting some of his important life events.

The Marian Consort are fabulous as Gesualdo's personal consort. They perform a selection of Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsies and Madrigril's because Gesualdo has to 'turn on' the music while reflecting on his past life. The music which is performed by the Marian Consort is beautiful to listen too because of the harmonics and chromatics that are used throughout Gesualdo's compositions. Angels are definitely in the form of the Marian Consort.

'Breaking the Rules' is a fabulous production that provides the audience with a unique experience. If you want to watch a show that puts you in a dream like state (in a positice way) , and through a palette of colours, then this could be for you. 'Breaking the Rules' is a show that certainly takes you out of yourself and transports you to another place.

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