2006-07: Vertigo

By Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac
Adapted & directed by Jonathan Holloway
Designed by Neil Irish
Music by Jon Nicholls

AUTUMN 2006 & SPRING 2007

Vertigo Pathol. a sensation of dizziness resulting from a disorder of the sense of balance.
a whirling around, from vertere to turn

Paris, 1940 – The Germans are massed on the French border. Invasion is imminent. Roger Flavieres – a vertigo sufferer living under the shadow a colleague’s death that he was powerless to prevent – is asked to follow a friend’s wife in order to discover her secrets…
Vertigo is a wonderfully plotted thriller. It is also an allegory. Its concern with loss of identity; with a man’s desire to punish his partners, to control, to strip them of the qualities they were drawn to in order to vanquish the threat of losing them; with his own depression and guilt, all cast an intriguing light on the French experience of invasion and occupation.

Boileau and Narcejac are joint authors of a series of gothic pulp thrillers that have given cinema some of its most fascinating and enduring source material. LES DIABOLIQUES and EYES WITHOUT A FACE stand as intriguing moments in modern French film-making, great storytelling underpinned by a startling understanding of the darker aspects of sexual attraction. This uniquely Gallic combination of sensational populism and intellectual substance can be found all through modern French literature from Sartre to Catherine Millet’s relentless chronicle of her sexual exploits with strangers. This collision of the cerebral and the vulgar perfectly suits Red Shift – a theatre company renowned for its heady mix of entertainment and aesthetics.

Also produced by Nottingham Playhouse 2008 and by Oxfordshire Touring