Theatre Review: The Rivals

Written in 1775 by Richard Sheridan, The Rivals has seen many revivals, but still maintains its intrinsic humour.

Presented by Adelaide Repertory Theatre (aka The Rep)

Reviewed 6 December 2020

This play, written in 1775 by Richard Sheridan, has seen many revivals, but still maintains its intrinsic humour. With a very talented cast, Director Matthew Chapman with Assistant Director Rebecca Kemp has brought us the amusing society of Bath in this era. A great team behind the scenes also added to the end result. Richard Parkhill’s lights, Beck Jarrett’s costumes and make-up and Annie Smith’s hairstyles. Smooth scene changes under the control of Stage Manager Ray Trowbridge and sound by Sean Smith made it an enjoyable production.

The hilarious role of Mrs Malaprop is given much character by Kate Anolak with delivery of those famous lines well under control. The Ladies with the romantic problems are played expertly by Allison Scharber (Lydia) and Emily Currie (Julia). Along with Patrick Clements as Jack Absolute, Dylan O’Donnell as Faulkland and Guy Henderson as Bob Acres they provide some silly and very entertaining exchanges.

Lindsay Dunn is Sir Anthony Absolute, completely as Sheridan wrote him. Matt Houston plays the over-the-top additional suitor Sir Lucius O’Trigger with panache – so funny. The servants, Sally (Jess Wolfendale), Thomas (Phillip Lineton) and Mr Backbite (AJ Bartley), provide the normal to this mix, all being well played. Bartley in particular does sarcasm so well. The prologue was written by Charlie Kay and delivered by Kemp, whilst the Epilogue, written by Sheridan was delivered by Currie. Both did their pieces proud.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Season Ended

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