Venue: Welsh National Opera
Director: Alessandro Talevi
Set and Costume Design: Madeleine Boyd
Photography: Robert Workman

That said, all praise to Matthew Haskins’s lighting design, which incorporates shadow play most skilfully. Sometimes shadows of suspicion and intrigue are more potent than that which is seen in full light. In the opening scene the women of the chorus cluster round a light-box, in which we see the shadow of a spider. The image is clear and enduring. Everything is black or blue, apart from a red box carried by Sara. It draws the eye. Inside there are insects, fed then to the spider. When the men of the chorus are on stage after that, talking amongst themselves in twos and threes, is it my imagination or are they scratching at their heads? Are the bugs amongst them too? It matters not if I am being fanciful, for the atmosphere of the court is febrile, suspicions are rife. It is the way of things.

Wales Art Review