Abigail Banks

Goblin Market at Southwark Playhouse

Goblin Market is a mystical and fantastical play that is based on the Victorian poem by Christina Rossetti.

There are two sisters. One, Laura, desires something more in life than everyday normalcy. She purchases a book that contains a story, Christina Rossetti's poem, that seems to give her what she looks for. In reading this book she unknowingly finds herself guided into the goblins market. Here she is fed fruit and pleasure of the life she has always desired. However, after this one event she is never able to find the happiness and pleasure again. She searches for the Goblins and their fruit day after day but fails to find what she is looking for. Slowly she falls into a sad state of sorrow until her sister comes to her rescue. She is unable to bring back the fruit from the dangerously enticing goblins. However, the love of sisterhood that she shows is so powerful that it breaks Laura's hazy sorrow.

This fable-like story has a set that is small and intimate. The walls are decorated with victorian floral and ornate fabric and contain hidden shelves that fold out during several market scenes. The cast at times seem to interweave in and out amongst each other as if in a dance. The mood that Christina Rossetti's poem originally sets is also achieved by a mixture of classical and current dancing club music. The strange difference in music may not agree together at first. However, once the audience is fully enthralled in the play, a world that is confused by reality and mystical dreams emerges.

Direction is by John Terry. Cast includes Emily Rose Smith, Lydia Piechowiak, Jonathan Hooley, Tim Speyer, Simon Balfour.

A mixture of Pre-Raphaelite and modern culture, this play is a true masterpiece.

Southwark Playhouse

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