Took in Antoni Cimolino’s production of R.B. Sheridan’s School For Scandal, our final Stratford production of the year at the Festival Theatre, on Tuesday. As per usual we left Toronto around 9:15 for to drive leisurely – 401 to Cambridge where we always stop at a Tim Ho’s for a washroom break & a coffee, then a welcome stop at the Shakespeare pie shop http://www.shakespearepies.net for meat pies. We would arrive in Stratford by noon for lunch, usually at Features.
The weather was perfect for the drive. Sunny but not overly warm. Traffic on 401 was fine the first hour then bam! to snail crawl – three lanes of it moving nowhere slowly. Why? We find out when we get the Guelph Line where traffic was reduced to a single lane & detoured along the Line 😦 We had to make a washroom stop along with way at a Country Time. Skipped lunch, didn’t get back to 401 for an hour or so & finally got parked in Stratford at 2:15. Needless to say we missed the curtain going up on the show – the detour was the real scandal. But we didn’t give up on the show. All we missed was the first scene. I can read that if I need to.
Once my racing brain had settled in somewhat I was quickly immersed in the production. The text is essentially nasty one liners & comic retorts. Characters are created with names: i.e. Lord Backbite. The performances were lively, arch, sincere & delicious. Costumes were great, wigs were perfect. It was clear that the cast really enjoyed their roles & the dialogue they were given to perform.
The nature of gossip, truth & alternate facts were very clear & a great comment on our modern day life in which being malicious is often the point – it doesn’t matter who the object of the maliciousness is. Being clever & nasty that is the point. Name calling only counts if the name you are calling is witty enough.
A superb production that I’d recommend except this was the last performance. It almost made the hell drive okay but …. at least the pie shop was open on the way home & I got an amazing maple pecan butter tart to sooth my weariness.
Reviews of the other shows I’ve seen this season at Stratford & Shaw:
‘in the key of green’ Bakkhai http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2r0
A #Changeling For the Better http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2tg
A Bloodless #Dracula http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2uU
Tartuffe: The Dance Remix http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2w6
Me and My Lamp Post http://wp.me/p1RtxU-2xN