Saint George and the Dragon by Rory Mullarkey
Toto - St. George and the Dragon
Saint George and the Dragon
Changing attitudes to mythic heroism binding force or divisive influence? All feature John Heffernan's engaging, unworldly George, first seen vanquishing Julian Bleach's campy Dragon in a medieval world where the wandering knight is the underdog branded a coward for fleeing after he failed to kill a previous dragon and where Amaka Okafor's Elsa is no drippy damsel-in-distress but a young woman who objects feistily to being festooned with herbs for the monster's post-flambe dining pleasure. The tone starts off light and part-jokey. Director Lyndsey Turner stages the combat in witty, exciting fashion so that it seems to taking place out of sight up in the sky. Two of the dragon's three huge heads spectacularly plummet earthward. Victorious George is acclaimed by the villagers, the red-on-white flag originating in the cross-shaped blood stains left in the gaps of his make-shift armour of homely kitchen ware. The villagers follow his advice to close their eyes and think of everything good they can do together, now that they are free, as George himself answers the summons of the brotherhood of knights to journey and slay other dragons.
The cavernous Olivier is a difficult space to fill. Its size seems to encourage an epic sensibility in the writers tasked to populate it, resulting in large, sweeping, and often very long, plays about the English condition. Saint George and the Dragon is split into three parts.
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Please refresh the page and retry. - T he National Theatre faces a problem: where to find the big new plays it craves for the Olivier, its largest theatre?
Travel to the National Theatre. Don't have an account? Learn the benefits. Into the story walks George: wandering knight, freedom fighter, enemy of tyrants the world over. One epic battle later and a nation is born. As the village grows into a town, and the town into a city, the myth of Saint George which once brought a people together, threatens to divide them. Rory Mullarkey creates a new folk tale for an uneasy nation.