SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER
By Oliver Goldsmith.
Nottingham Playhouse To 18 September 2010.
Tue-Sat 7.45pm Mat 11 Sept 2.30pm, 16 Sept 1pm.
Audio-described 11 Sept 2.30pm 5 September.
BSL Signed 17 Sept.
Post-=show Talk 14 Sept.
Runs 2hr 35min .One interval
TICKETS: 0115 9419419.
Review: Jen Mitchell h September.
Oliver Goldsmith’s comedy of errors is as amusing and entertaining as ever.
Under Lucy Pitman-Wallace’s direction, there are some fine performances and strong representations of what can only be described as fairly one-dimensional characters.
Ellie Beaven is a feisty Kate Hardcastle with a mischievous side. Mike Burnside (Mr Hardcastle) makes an excellent bumbling squire who is at once both frustrating and endearing. Mrs Hardcastle may be less likeable but is admirably portrayed by Joan Moon.
The object of Kate’s affections, young Charles Marlow (Edmund Kingsley) manages to carry off his character’s double sided nature with great skill. As a confident and cavalier young man, he woos ladies he considers to be beneath his social class, with charm, wit and more than a touch of the rogue. When introduced to a lady of equal social standing however, Charles becomes a bumbling tongue-tied buffoon.
The set and staging are interesting and offer us a new slant on the piece. From the onset any pretence of realism is done away with. The audience is made well aware they disbelief does not need to be suspended. We are watching actors being actors, acting in a play – if that makes any sense at all! It certainly does when you are there. Not only are we aware of watching the play but pretence is further stripped away as we see actors taking various roles and producing their own sound effects on stage.
The set reinforces this with its larger than life cut out animals and story book sunshine. Inspired by the rural idyll of the English countryside depicted in so much eighteenth century art, designer Jessica Curtis combines her larger than life animals and story book sun, with cut out scenery and props reminiscent of Toy Theatres.
Mr Hardcastle: Mike Burnside.
Mrs Hardcastle: Joan Moon.
Tony Lumpkin: Chris Nayak.
Kate Hardcastle: Ellie Beaven.
Constance Neville: Rina Mahoney.
Young Charles Marlow: Edmund Kingsley.
George Hastings: Peter Basham.
Diggory: Thomas Eyre.
Sir Charles Marlow: Maxwell Hutcheon.
Director: Lucy Pitman-Wallace.
Designer: Jessica Curtis.
Lighting: David Phillips.
Composer/Musical Director: Mick Sands.