Marking time

imgresThe iconic image of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr embracing in the surf was dazzlingly risqué for a 1953 cinema audience, but the love affair between the rugged sergeant and the boss’s wife was actually one of the tamer aspects of James Jones’s explosive tome about the stark reality of army life at Pearl Harbour.

Lyricist Tim Rice, composer Stuart Brayson and book writer Bill Oakes returned to the original, uncensored 900-page novel when creating their adaptation of From Here to Eternity, reinstating excised material such as overt references to prostitution and a gay subculture storyline, but the unfortunate result is a show that feels both overstuffed and underwhelming. Numerous plot strands compete for attention and, in a rushed climax, several are left dangling.

Oakes can’t decide which elements to foreground, nor does he figure out how to drive the narrative forward when his dual protagonists are defined by inaction – a neat metaphor for the futility of war, but frustrating when the theme of stasis robs this lengthy show of its dramatic momentum.

Read my full Dance Today review here

Buy a copy of the December issue here

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