Brought to us by the Devil’s Violin Company, ‘The Forbidden Door’, directed by Sally Cookson, saw the fusion of live music and the spellbinding storytelling of Daniel Morden, who illustrated the love story of a woman and a pig.
This unconventional topic was paralleled in the unusual methods the company used to narrate their tale. Rather than being farcical, Morden told the tale with such integrity, carefully pausing to create a sense of dramatic irony, that the make-believe aspects of the play were forgotten. As the blurb suggests, this is a show that asks a more sincere question, ‘What would you sacrifice for the sake of the one you love?’.
Despite the sincerity of the tale, there were playful moments such as when Morden lay on the ground with his legs raised in the air to evoke the image of a pig rolling in a bath of mud. Alongside the three instrumentalists, including cellist Sarah Moody, guitarist Dylan Fowler and violinist Oliver Wilson-Dickson, the performers used methods that included using their instruments to successfully heighten emotional climaxes within the story, as well as to add dramatic tension. Another point of success was the way that Morden employed moments of direct address to the audience, for example, when a party walked in slightly late and their arrival was parodied by comparing them, in a comedic way, to animals.
The tone of the play was upbeat while also holding a poignant message on the nature of suffering and loss and the value of attitude in constructing your own destiny.
Ellie Jacobs and Lara Glantz, Reviewers.