Launching this weekend is a remarkable new production by the Basilique Performing Arts Company, led by the creative team of Canary Beck and Harvey Crabsticks, of John Milton's epic poem Paradise Lost. The production, which uses Mozart's Requiem as its score and features eight actors playing forty-three roles, runs about 70 minutes. The production follows on the the heels of the Basilique's previous staging of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which enjoyed a tremendously successful run. While the current plan is for Paradise Lost to run through June, I wouldn't be surprised if, like Romeo and Juliet, it will be extended by popular acclaim.
With more than ten thousand lines of mid-seventeenth century verse (Milton probably wrote the bulk of the poem between 1658 and 1663), Paradise Lost may appear daunting to modern-day readers. But don't allow that to deter you from attending — Becky and Harvey have managed to condense the complex plotline (which tells the Biblical story of Adam and Eve's temptation by Satan and their subsequent expulsion from the Garden of Eden) into a remarkably easy-to-follow and coherent experience in fourteen scenes. The sets for each of the scenes themselves are dynamically rezzed, and the actors' actions are complex, to say the least, with 1,783 independently scripted actions (which, as Becky and Harvey note, averages out to be about one action every two seconds).
During the press preview last week, I had a challenging time taking photos of the quality I would have liked, but we're lucky that Caitlin Tobias, the official photographer from the Basilique, has been posting beautiful images on her blog, Cait's World, and you can learn more about the production on the Basilique's blog. (Numerous other bloggers have also been covering the much-anticipated opening as well.)
The first couple performances, today and tomorrow, are sold out, but tickets are available for many others on the marketplace at L$1,000 per seat. Please note that if you attend it's requested that you have RLVa turned on (which, if you don't use it, is quite easy to do) and that you wear a costume that you'll receive as part of your ticket. While at first that might seem like an imposition, it's for a good reason — you're going to be performing! (But you don't need to practice — you'll see!) The Basilique's home sim (Our Island) is rated adult, and performance-goers should expect some scenes with nudity and sexual content. 50% of each ticket sale will be contributed to the World Wildlife Fund to support their Adopt-a-Gorilla Program, and you can read more details on this through posts on Becky's self-titled blog, Canary Beck.