Dripping with decadence, Don Juan invites us into a seedy world that strips down the male playboys of history. From the lavish costumes to the luxurious language of the script, this is a production that is seeping with the surplus, the extravagant and the indulgent.
Combining a particularly packed script with energetic dance, this Jackinabox production leaves both cast and audience gasping for breath. At times threatening to become a little overwhelming, this show is, above all, ambitious; it invokes within its short duration all aspects of the male seducer figure we know intimately from Molière to Coronation Street.
Within the extremely cosy setting of the C eca studio, the production offers the audience a chilling inclusivity in its action. This is elevated by the quasi-narrator character of the devil, a kind of Charlie Chaplin meets the Joker figure here, whose nuanced expressions and continual penetration into the audience is genuinely unnerving.
Whilst beautifully performed by all the actors, I feel the cast sometimes struggle with a production that at times borders on over-indulgence. The script, although littered with insightful literary and philosophical references, has a tendency towards cliché and over-complication. The use of physical theatre, similarly, whilst dynamic and striking, appears sometimes to be something of an afterthought.
Yet as a sharp and engaging angle on a still illusory figure, Don Juan is nonetheless a darkly probing production that satisfies an audience desire to revel unashamedly in the grubbily sinful and salacious.
*** 3/5 Stars
Don Juan is playing at C venues – C eca until 27th August as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information and tickets see the Edinburgh Fringe website.