Tag Archives: Mayou Trikerioti

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Rose Theatre Kingston & UK Tour

Captain Corellis Mandolin

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Rose Theatre Kingston & UK Tour

Reviewed – 1st May 2019



“the musical interludes are moments of beauty that complement the theatricality and flair of this evocative production”


The scale of Louis de Bernières’ visionary novel “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” is probably the main reason why it has taken a quarter of a century for it to be adapted for the stage. The multi layered and varied style of the epic narrative is a daunting prospect, but Rona Munro’s adaptation pinpoints the core of the story and, with a surgeon’s precision, cuts away the excess flesh to expose the rhythms of its passionately beating heart.

Director Melly Still’s adventurous production comes in two distinct parts. The first act comprises a series of finely composed vignettes that not only encapsulate the sultry atmosphere of the Greek island of Cephalonia, but serve also to set up the characters. At first we wonder at the hotchpotch of accents on display (from Irish, Welsh and Yorkshire through to RP) but soon realise the deliberate ploy to challenge stereotypes. We are not being asked to pass judgement, or decide who is the enemy, but to focus on the personalities.

Dr. Iannis (Joseph Long) has brought up his daughter, Pelagia (Madison Clare), on a diet of free thinking, which is now being threatened by the Italian occupation of their island. Meanwhile Carlo (Ryan Donaldson), an Italian soldier, tries to make sense of the invasion. Likewise, Captain Corelli (Alex Mugnaioni), an accomplished musician who carries his mandolin everywhere with him, only takes music, friendship and romance seriously. A reluctant soldier, armed with only his charm and his love of music, he is able to win the heart of Pelagia by his refusal to believe in the Italian invasion of Greece.

Although he doesn’t appear until the end of the first act, Mugnaioni lights up the stage with his strong presence, albeit a touch passionless. His slightly bumbling Englishness contrasts Clare’s feisty Pelagia who soon recognises his detachment to the military cause. But there is also a similar detachment to the relationship which, once ignited, burns slowly. More rounded is the relationship with Pelagia’s first love, Mandras (a brilliantly assured Ashley Gayle), that reveals the complexities of lost love in a more believable fashion.

The central theme of war, though, casts its shadow like an impending storm until it explodes with its full force after the interval. Mayou Trikerioti’s design comes to the fore as her simple yet evocative set of beaten metal morphs from the shimmering idyll of a Grecian seascape into the harsh smoky barrage of the battlefield. Jon Nicholls’ thumping sound echoes the waves of dance-like movement of George Siena’s choreography. The contrast is all too pertinent when, at a stroke, it overlaps with the relative peace of the village and the minutiae of their lives. And it is the finer details of these individuals that captivates most. Not just the people, but the animals too – Luisa Guerreiro threatens to steal each scene as the herb-chomping, affable goat while Elizabeth Mary Williams hangs upside down from a ladder as Psipsina, the athletic pine martin.

But there’s another clue in the title. And, yes, Alex Mugnaioni plays the mandolin exceptionally well. Superimposed onto Harry Blake’s pre-recorded score the musical interludes are moments of beauty that complement the theatricality and flair of this evocative production.


Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography by Marc Brenner


Captain Corelli's Mandolin logo

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Rose Theatre Kingston until 12th May then UK Tour continues


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde | ★★ | February 2018
Much Ado About Nothing | ★★★★ | April 2018
Don Carlos | ★★ | November 2018
The Cat in the Hat | ★★★ | April 2019


Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com


The Yellow Wallpaper – 4 Stars


The Yellow Wallpaper

Omnibus Theatre

Reviewed – 12th June 2018


“Gemma Yates-Round beautifully encapsulates the challenging role of Alice”


“I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over”

Another Soup return to Clapham’s Omnibus Theatre to headline the ‘Whispers from the Walls’ season with their poignant interpretation of The Yellow Wallpaper.

The production is based on Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic short story about a woman suffering with postpartum psychosis, as she struggles to receive the correct treatment to enable her recovery. Although the original story takes place in the late 1800s, the key themes within the text are incredibly relevant today. Whilst we have improved our attitudes towards mental illness since the Victorian era, Another Soup’s refreshing take on the story reveals how much of the stigmatisation still prevails deeply within society today.

Gemma Yates-Round beautifully encapsulates the challenging role of Alice, and from her first moments on stage brings the audience emotionally towards her character. This intimate connection with the audience whenever she breaks the fourth wall establishes the way in which the director has cleverly chosen to stage what is originally a first-person narrative written by an author who had the same experiences.

This particular interpretation of the text did not seem to be set in any particular era, and in many ways is yet another directorial decision from Dave Spencer to stay true to the dystopian setting of Gilman’s work. As well as this, the set design by Mayou Trikerioti and Cecilia Trono, further helped establish this unsettling atmosphere in addition to encapsulating the shifting consciousness of Alice’s mind.

Whilst this story sheds light on the dated attitudes many still harbour towards mental illness, particularly when suffered by women, it also draws attention to wrong ways in which we can treat mental illness. In The Yellow Wallpaper, Alice is taken away from other people, and is strictly forbidden to engage in any creative activity and, as a result, this worsens her suffering. Perhaps in some ways this particular production alludes to the ways in which art can potentially assist in treatment for mental illness, as well as playing a role in further educating audiences on the journey of someone with postpartum psychosis.


Reviewed by Claire Minnitt

Photography by Lidia Crisafulli


Omnibus Theatre

The Yellow Wallpaper

Omnibus Theatre until 24th June


Also by Another Soup theatre company
Window | ★★★ | Bread & Roses Theatre | September 2017
 The Soul of Wittgenstein | ★★★ | Omnibus Theatre | February 2018


Click here to see more of our latest reviews on thespyinthestalls.com