Covent Garden is now Paris in 1831. Well, it is for 150 minutes when St. Paul’s Church in the heart of Covent Garden plays, to great effect, Notre Dame cathedral in an excellent outdoor production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Victor Hugo’s classic tale of survival, injustice, and love is played out in the grounds of the church by the actors from Iris Theatre. They are an award-winning theatre company created in 2007 to produce site-specific work centred around it’s Covent Garden home, St. Paul’s Church.
A priest and a hunchback both fall for the mysterious and beautiful Esmerelda who solely longs to find her long-lost mother. When the unhappy pair try to take matters into their own hands they set off a chain of events that no one can control.
Revolution then sweeps over the city of Paris and the mob breaks against the walls of the cathedral. Will the hunchback find true love? Will the priest save his soul? And will it take the people of Paris to save Esmerelda? Benjamin Polya’s adaptation is superb as the scenes move around the church courtyard and then brilliantly the most dramatic scenes of the play take place inside the church, perfect timing as the outdoors gets a bit chilly and the darkness and smoke in the church adds a great dramatic effect to the finale of the play.
This very affordable production is for the entire family.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
by Benjamin Polya, based on the novel by Victor HugoDirected by Bertie Watkins
Iris TheatreSt Paul’s Church, Bedford St, Covent Garden, London WC2E 9ED