It was hard to be anything but charmed by the website for Venice Preserved, what with its hints of carnival atmosphere and promise of a promenade experience. But I was confused about where it was happening – at the Cutty Sark? At a wharf? At a pub? – as well as the start time (showing up at the Cutty Sark at 7:30 is not the way to go, and the actual performance location is woefully poorly signed, if a fairly brief walk from Deptford Station). I was clear that we were to spend part of the time outside, but as a part of a Punchdrunk-style spectacle of a story revealed through hints and deduction, I was up for it.
What I was not ready for, however, was standing in the rain while a revenge tragedy was performed by a cast of overenthusiastic recent graduates. Yeah, sure, we were being moved around from place to place, but I loathe revenge tragedy. And when it’s being shouted at you and yet still struggling to make it through the wall of umbrellas, well: I noticed a point where the gang went left and, well, we went right … and left. I’m sorry, I just couldn’t stand it anymore.
(This review is for a performance that took place on Thursday, May 1st, 2014. It continues through June 7th.)