School for Scandal

Director – Antoni Cimolino

Starring – Maev Beatty as Lady Sneerwell, Brigit Wilson as Mrs Candour, Joseph Zeigler as Sir Oliver Surface. Geraint Wyn Davies as Sir Peter Teazle, Shannon Taylor as Lady Teazle, Brent Carver as Rowley, Sebastien Helms as Charles Surface, Tyrone Savage as Joseph Surface.

The audience loved this gorgeous, funny production. And what’s not to like? You need to see it for the performances alone. Brigit Wilson as Mrs Candour was hilarious. Maev Beatty was suitable hauty as Lady Sneerwell. Geraint Wyn Davies was funny and sad as the lovelorn husband. And Joseph Zeigler was perfect as Sir Oliver.

The costumes were gorgeous and the sets elegant.

I rarely disagree with Antoni’s choices as a director, but this time I do. In costume for the period, the play seemed dated, but if it had been done in modern dress, the concept of fake news would have resonated much more clearly. The couple of modern references (Sean Spicer) and the twitter crawl at the end suggested that Antoni might have been torn. As it was they seemed out of place.

But at the end, I went home feeling dissatisfied. The play is dated, but it could have been so relevant. Maybe I am just shallow because I wanted it to seem more current on the surface (pun) instead of having to work to get the underlying theme: gossip  (fake news) is dangerous.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
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One Response to School for Scandal

  1. keithhpotter says:

    Yes, I agree. The datedness was less noticeable in the second act, as it is more farcical, but I am sure the act (s?) before the intermission was a lot funnier at the time than it appeared now, despite the efforts of an excellent cast.
    I am just not sure whether we should have looked at a modern dress version with Sheridan’s language, or whether it needed a “translation” to modernise it – I am thinking of “A Man with Two Guv’nors” versus “The Servant of Two Masters”.

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