This is a very great opera that can take many different interpretations. However, there is no room for compromise. Ultimately, it either has to be done straight and with absolute conviction that the themes with which it deals are as important to our culture now as they were to Verdi in the 1860s. Or if the traditional setting is thought to raise too many troubling questions or is beyond budget to realize then a fully thought-through alternative scenario is needed.
Morton-Smith has written a masterpiece which Angus Jackson has cast and directed in a way which gives it full measure, lustre and power. No one here gives anything other than a first-class performance. John Heffernan, in the central role, with the bulk of the play squarely on his shoulders, is world class. He is magical, mercurial, magnificent.