The Spire, Salisbury Playhouse

First published in Stage Reviews Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Feature Writer

THERE could hardly be a more fitting theatre to stage the premiere of William Golding’s The Spire than Salisbury Playhouse.

The play tells the dramatic story of the realisation of Dean Jocelin’s vision for a 400ft spire to be erected on top of Salisbury Cathedral in the 14th century.

It is a dramatic and at times tense story, with human suffering, struggles and tragedy.

The play is driven by Mark Meadows in the role of Dean Jocelin, on stage for the majority of the production.

We follow Jocelin in his journey from unshakeable faith in his vision for a spire, believing firmly that it is God’s work, to doubts in himself and a revelation that questions his idea of himself as having been chosen by God.

Special mention must be given to Sarah Moyle who, in the joint roles of Lady Alison, Jocelin’s aunt, and Rachel, the wife of the master builder who brings Jocelin’s vision to creaking, swaying reality, had arguably all the best lines, delivered with perfect comic timing.

As always with the Playhouse, the sets were wonderful, evoking the interior of the cathedral and tower as it was slowly erected.

Excellent use was also made of sound, from the eerie ‘singing’ of the creaking pillars as they bore the weight of the rising tower to off-stage love scenes and even deaths.

Tense, compelling and historically interesting, another excellent Playhouse production.

Runs until November 24.

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