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Monday, September 21, 2009


Beautiful piece of theatre cleverly designed and sensitively performed. (Review by Caroline Smart)

Appearing at the Witness Hilton Arts Festival, Danish actress Mia Theil Have relives the character of Karen Blixen in a fascinating one-woman production titled Longing for Darkness directed by Max Webster. Having been born and educated in Kenya, stories of the legendary Karen Blixen invariably cropped up in the conversation of my family’s circle of friends and I confess it was nostalgia that drew me to book for the show. I am very pleased I did, because this was a beautiful piece of theatre cleverly designed and sensitively performed.

Karen Blixen was played by Meryl Streep in the award-winning movie Out of Africa and, judging by Mia Theil Have’s natural accent, Streep mastered the Danish intonations to excellent effect. Mia even looks like Meryl Streep which made the play all the more surreal.

There was a clever use of props. Drawers of a bureau were used as photographs or an aerial imagery of coffee trees. One contained coffee beans which were spilled out to impressive effect. There was a beautiful scene when she Mia uses the curtains as wings.

My only reservation was the use of the ape character. Unless I missed something, the relevance for me was lost. I think this detracted and introduced an unnecessarily new aspect when the production was drawing to a close. – Caroline Smart