This Jackinabox Productions piece tells the classic tale of Don Juan’s battle of wits with the devil. When asked by hell’s proprietor to play the fool, the protagonist recounts stories of his seduction of numerous women in an attempt to prove himself above this title.
The play opens with Don Juan reclining and asleep on an impressive regency chaise longue, appearing as an Adonis. This seat makes up the bulk of a minimal, but effective, set; this attention to detail was carried through to the costume design, with an array of corsets and a dapper suited up devil. The show overflowed with class, with solid performances throughout; particular mention should go to Beelzebub who aptly portrayed both the controlled academic and manic demon. The scholarly philosophical debates were not an oppressive feature, as might have been the case in some longer productions, and were offset by elements of dance and physicality. A highlight of this was an amusing and well-choreographed dance scene, where Don Juan’s servant Sganarelle provides light relief. The dramatic denouement was engaging and a neatly fitting ending to the piece.
At times the use of the dance-like physicality felt a touch forced, while the swordfight was more distracting and amateur than beneficial. However, these problems quickly turned into minor issues thanks to the standard of performance and the stylishly captivating story of seduction and morals.