Salomé is a story that’s mythical, biblical, violent, and perhaps a bit confusing. A new version of the show is now playing at The National Theatre, and it’s executed beautifully.
Nameless (played by Olwen Fouéré) tells the story of Salomé, as Salomé the character doesn’t speak, and takes place in Roman occupied Judea. She’s yelled at and ridiculed by her stepfather Herod (Paul Chahidi), but finds something, perhaps a kindred spirit, in Iokanaan – John the Baptist (Ramzi Choukair).
But it’s not just the story, it’s the design of the show, by Susan Hilferty, that takes us on a journey, or perhaps better worded – on a ride – a ride that’s both luminous and heavenly, with lighting that adds mystery and darkness. It’s also the haunting vocals and chanting of Israeli folk musician Yasmin Levy and Syrian soprano Lubana Al Quntar that will take your breathe away. Their vocals that accompany the story told on stage is the most memorable part of the show – their voices are out of this world, and listening to them is well worth the price of the ticket.