A SURPRISING DELIGHT
Playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan knew what could trigger laughter in the theatre right up there with the best of them from his era. Enter a visually crafty Antonio Cimolino for a superior fix of funny and the sharp, shallow, and scintillating presentation takes on a life of its own at the Avon Theatre.
All eyes land on Maev Beatty’s desiccated, cut-glass Lady Sneerwell, specialising in reducing others to the level of her own injured reputation as well as Brigit Wilson’s rippened Mrs. Candour and Tom Rooney’s Benjamin Backbite and his laugh out loud line “I wish she would blow me…kisses.”
This is in reference to Monica Peter’s Maria, a character you usually never notice in the shenanigans surrounding the precarious marriage of the Teazles and the testing of Charles Surface (Tyrone Savage).
“I bear no malice to the people I abuse,” is the waspish defence of Shannon Taylor’s Lady Teazle, a kitten with claws if there ever was such a thing.
This is a robust staging and serves as a surprising delight to anyone new to the story. It does come across as a bit more of an actor’s play than anything else but if you’re able to set that aside, there’s a wealth of disguised pleasures to be had.
THE SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL by Richard Brinsley Sheridan May 15 – October 21, 2017 AVON THEATRE, Stratford, Ontario TICKETS $25.00 – $165.00 www.stratfordfestival.ca 1-800-567-1600 CASTGeraint Wyn Davies, Joseph Ziegler, Shannon Taylor, Monice Peter, Maev Beaty, Brigit Wilson, Sébastien Heins, Tyrone Savage, Brent Carver, Rod Beattie, Michael Blake, Zara Jestadt, Mercedes Morris, Tom Rooney, Anusree Roy, StephenRussell, Johnathan Sousa and Emilio Vieira DIRECTOR Antonio Cimolino LIGHTING Michael Walton SOUND Thomas Ryder-Payne ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Peter Pasyk