I don’t usually keep up with what’s on at the theatre, so I didn’t know that David Tennant was in a West End show until Don Juan in Soho was approaching its final few weeks onstage. But when I did find out, I knew that I wanted to go.
Don Juan in Soho is a modern adaptation of Molière’s Don Juan. It is a tragic comedy about the final days in the life of a cruel and selfish womaniser who lives only for pleasure. David Tennant plays the lead role, as he manipulates and charms and seduces almost everyone he meets and faces the knowledge that his life is coming to an end.
For me, the main attraction to this play was David Tennant. I loved him as the Tenth Doctor in Doctor Who, which at the time was my favourite TV show, and also in Broadchurch which more recently became one of my favourite series. In Don Juan in Soho, he takes on a completely different role, as an eccentric and sexist lothario.
This was a really interesting role to see him in, since I found the character both captivating and completely detestable. As is said in the play, “he is not a loveable rogue”. Don Juan is a character with no hope of redemption, a sociopath who feels no guilt and takes his actions to the extreme. David Tennant has a commanding presence onstage, and brings life to the character, really doing justice to his eccentricity.
The writing itself is something I found surprisingly funny. The play is filled with crude but clever jokes, and even makes reference to current political topics and other areas of modern life that won’t have been present in the original play. A lot of the material is definitely for a more mature audience, and I’m not sure I expected the humour to be quite as blatant and scandalous as it is.
Overall, I really enjoyed the performance, and as I expected, I particularly appreciated David Tennant’s acting.
Featured image from London Theatre Direct