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Thursday, 30 January, 2003, 17:20 GMT
Midnight's Children: Press views
Midnight's Children is on at the Barbican until 23 February
Adapting the play was an ambitious project
The world première of the stage adaptation of Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children took place in London on Wednesday. The British press reviewed the first night.


The Daily Telegraph

You never quite forget that you are watching a book rather than a play. Novels and stage dramas have different priorities, different time scales, and on stage Rushdie's epic seems cramped and diminished. Just as a scene is building a head of dramatic steam, we move on to another. With a cast of 20 playing more than 70 characters, there isn't enough time, or detail, to get to know them well.


The Times

They retain too much of the original. They also ditch too much. Theirs is a bold, lively effort, but, more than any stage adaptation I know, it leaves you hankering for the page. I suspect anyone who hasn't read the book will need the family tree in the programme, for it's easy to get muddled by the grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles rushing in and out.


The Guardian

It is an evening of memorable moments in which huge narrative gallons are squeezed into a pint pot. It is also held together by Tim Supple's fluid production; Melly Still's design, which projects film and video on to screens; and, above all, by Zubin Varla's performance as Saleem.

He is simultaneously narrator, chameleon-like changeling, historic symbol and ruined victim of the Indira Gandhi years. He dominates the stage and a production which gives you something of the novel's aromatic flavour.

See also:

30 Jan 03 | Entertainment
30 Jan 03 | Entertainment
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25 Mar 02 | Entertainment
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