Review: Secrets from behind the forbidden door

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The Forbidden Door, The Devil’s Violin. Belgrade Theatre, Feb 27

The Forbidden Door plays on that grit in the oyster of every story worth telling: the warning not to taste that fruit, not to stay past midnight, not to open that door.

To do so is a vital part of growing up, of being human: the need to explore, to know, to see, to experience.

Of course, such things come at a price: there are risks involved. The safety we cherish is only realised once it is put in jeopardy.

Daniel Morden is a storyteller in supreme command of his craft. Backed by a string trio of formidable virtuosity, he weaves before our eyes and ears tales of adventure, romance, treachery.

Many of the stories are so old their origins have been long forgotten. I recognised a few: Phaeton’s seizure of his father the sun god’s burning chariot; and the beautiful story of the Mustard Seed that I first encountered in Buddhist mythology.

There were others: in the beginning human beings were offered the choice between two boxes, one white promising all good things in the world; the other, black, containing all evil. We opened both, and thereafter lay a thousand tales of transgression and restoration.

This cinema of the mind is made entirely of words and music. The score reflects and drives the tales as they blossom and weave their tangled skein of fruits and flowers, some wholesome, some not.

We fly to far off places, we encounter magical beings. We encounter the secrets of life, behind the forbidden door.

Rating 9/10

By Nick Le Mesurier