Thursday, May 18, 2006


"A victory is twice itself when the achiever brings home full numbers"

This production will play to full houses in The Swan, else there's no justice - Marianne Elliott's debut at Stratford as the director, and Tamsin Greig's as Beatrice, and a wonderful ensemble, and great music all deserved their glowing reviews.

Michael Billington wrote in The Guardian,
"Comedy has been in short supply in this year's bulging Stratford season. On a day when the Midlands was at its most sodden and unkind, you could feel the audience falling with delight on Marianne Elliott's colourful, Cuba-based production. Whatever niggles one has, this is a striking Stratford directorial debut.
Why Cuba circa 1953? One is tempted to ask, Why not? Given that I've seen the play set in British India, Renaissance England, and even, on one daring occasion, in Sicily where it takes place, Latin America seems as good a choice as any. What it offers is a plausible military context, a raffish glamour, and endless opportunities, gloriously seized by Olly Fox's score, for rumbas, sambas and congas. It is a touch gratuitous to suggest that the villainous Don John, who precipitates Hero's disgrace, should turn into a rifle-toting revolutionary; but otherwise the chosen setting gives the action a seedy exoticism."

Personal Star Rating [out of five] *****


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