Orlando by Virginia Woolf adapted by Sarah Ruhl. Jermyn Street Theatre, 15b Jermyn Street, London SW1 to 28 May 2022. 4****. William Russell.

One could hardly have a tale more fashionable that this one dreamt up by Virginia Woolf back in 1928 about the boy who became a woman and lived throughout the centuries. It is one of those books people read because it is one they should have read and is nowhere as funny or scandalous as one might think. Orlando was, however, her biggest commercial success, plays splendidly with the confusions of gender and was her idea of a joke.Sarah Ruhl’s adaptation directed by Stella Powell-Jones is a sparkling affair cleverly staged – nice set by Ceci Calf – and performed delightfully by the four strong cast led by Taylor McClaine, a red haired vision, in the title role. McClaine creates a gloriously ambiguous creature who travels from the court of Queen Elizabeth by way of Istanbul, the arms of a mysterious countess called Sasha, and the Home Counties to the present day finding love along the way while never quite getting round to becoming a poet which was the original intention in her days of being he. The result is more fun than the Sally Potter movie with Tilda Swinton as Orlando and in these gender fluid times this production of it works a treat. Praise all round for the cast, plaudits for the direction, the wirtty costumes and the pretty set.

Orlando: Taylor McClaine.
Sasha: Skye Hallam.
Everybody else: Rosalind Lailey, Stanton Wright, Tigger Blaize.

Director: Stella Powell-Jones.
Movement Director: Elliot Pritchard.
Set Designer: Ceci Calf.
Costume Designer: Emily Stuart.
Lighting Designer: Alie Hunter.
Sound Designer & composer: Roly Botha.
Production photographs: Steve Grayson.

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