Lady Windermere’s Fan
Tara Rosling as Mrs. Erylynne (left) confronts her past and is able to predict the future with Gray Powell as Lord Darlington and Marla McLean as Lady Windermere (right) oblivious to her invaluable lessons learned in the Shaw Festival presentation of ‘Lady Windermere’s Fan.’

Something Greater Than Art

Is there any feeling in the world greater than discovering that someone has had your back the entire time without ever letting on? Oscar Wilde’s cleverly assembled drama supported by playful wedges of wit goes to show what kind of the self-sacrificing measures a mother will endure for a daughter when history begins to repeat itself.

If it were not for director Peter Hinton’s forward thinking, the production wouldn’t amount to much more than just another solid piece for the Shaw Festival history books. Instead, visual ecstasy seizes the story thanks in part to curtain cropped viewing of selected scenes making thisparticular Lady feel like a living portrait.

And with an efficacious score relying on the music of Rufus Wainwright, The Velvet Underground, Roxy Music, Pulp and finally Katy Perry to signal contemporary relevance to the 120-year old work, theatregoers are left with the strong impression that something greater than art has been shared.

The narrative hook is a sharp one. Lady Windermere (Marla McLean) is devastated when she suspects that her husband, Lord Windermere (Martin Happer) is getting it on with another woman, Mrs. Erlynne (Tara Rosling).
When opportunity presents itself to vacate her marriage via of Lord Darlington (Gray Powell) underhanded invitation, Lady Windermere sees it as the only solution to her emotional distress.

It’s hard to remember when four actors looked as relaxed in a Festival Theatre offering getting to the root of Oscar Wilde’s satirical inspection of the Victorian marriage morals of his day.

A summer stage sizzler you’ll carry in your heart for years to come, Lady Windermere’s Fan works all the right angles in proving that relationship disaster can be avoided when actions speak louder than words.

Review by Steven Berketo

By Oscar Wilde
May 9 – Oct. 19, 2013
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Tickets $24.00 – $110.00

Marla McLean, Tara Rosling
Martin Happer, Gray Powell
Kyle Blair, Corinne Koslo
Patrick MCManus, Jim Mezon

Peter Hinton

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