Saturday, June 07, 2008

"The Way of the World" - June 2008

Although the regular "A Play, A Pie and A Pint" season has ended, Oran Mor have cleverly extended it with a short series of "Corona Classic Cuts" where rather than showing new writing, we have a series of classic plays trimmed down in time and scale to suit the lunchtime slot. And yes, you do still get the Pie and the Pint.

In an entertaining prologue Tam Dean Burn, who has adapted the text from William Congreve's, explains that there is a plot - 'but not a lot'. And it is really rather thin, but then it isn't the plot that is of interest here - it's the verbal sparring between Mirabel and Millamant. Just how much of their independent lives and pleasures are they prepared to sacrifice to be together? What we get is really a humorous negotiation of marriage vows. Johnny Austin and Carmen Pieraccini both give strong performances in the lead roles with Pierraccini delivering a brave unaccompanied vocal performance very impressively. I'm afraid Tam Dean Burn's character of Wilfull pushed all the wrong buttons for me and I found him more irritating than anything else, but his delightful prologue and audience interaction made up for that.

Burn, as adapter and director, has created a nice little piece of playful theatre - with some fantastic costuming thrown in for good measure. It doesn't take itself too seriously and doesn't ask us to either. Fun - if a little forgettable.

"The Way of the World" has now completed its run at Oran Mor - Further Corona Classic Cuts are "King Lear", "The Shoemaker's Wonderful Wife" and "Anthony & Cleopatra"
Image by Leslie Black used with permission