The great Oscar Wilde social satire has been condensed to 75 minutes, a one-chair set and, most notably, a cast of four women.
Such minimalism leaves plenty of room in this solid Manchester Central import for crisp, lucid performances, unfussy staging and a sensible focus on language.
Call it Oscar mild.
What turns out to be important is not the gender of the performers but the talent of the quartet of actresses to ably handle Wilde’s bon mots. All are up to the task of selling the silliness that surrounds the ridiculous identity crises of two spoiled young men, Jack (Dee Watson in a ponytail) and Algernon (Lara Bradban with a moustache). Nell Corrin penned the adaptation and provides an imperious Lady Bracknell and a flighty Cecily, while Carly Tarett rounds out the ensemble with a calculating Gwendolen.
(Review by Kevin Prokosh based on Montreal performance)
From the official Fringe program:
OSCAR WILDE’S famous comedy of flawed identity. As a baby, Jack was found in a handbag at Victoria Station! He needs to find some parents, and a new name, to have any chance of marrying Gwendolyn.
Droll humour from literature’s wittiest writer!
"Oozes class" - Guardian
"Exquisite" - Observer
RECOMMENDED: General Audience
Venue#10 Planetarium Auditorium 190 Rupert Ave (theatre on lower level)
Discount Tickets: $7 for Students, Seniors
Under 13 not admitted.