There is an acute fascination in watching the richly intense banquet give way, bit by bit, to the advances of the common folk, to see the lavish table become stripped bare, and then transform into a place for measured debate instead of entitled excess. The wonderful lighting from Bruno Poet only accentuates the lush transition, as does Mary Chadwick’s atmospheric music. The hint of the regally attired Charles and his retinue, like a gorgeously detailed ghost, hovers in the background – there, but not there.
The vision that Fall and Ronder and their team have for Dara is as grand and awesome as the Taj Mahal itself. Lindsay’s wonderful set uses the full length, breadth and height of the Lytleton’s vast space. A series of beautifully patterned screens is employed, moving in constantly changing configurations across and above the stage, giving a truly exotic sense to proceedings. The kaleidoscope of activity, images and designs is visually intoxicating.