Reviewed by Georgia Cassimatis
Other than the unique, little Genesian theatre in the hub of Sydney, the Baroque style set and fabulous, colourful costumes and wigs, this play had me at: ‘A woman’s dress is not a dress until a woman is inside the dress’, and ‘Men are so stupid they don’t realise they’re stupid’. Both are declared by the ‘manipulative’ Countess Almaviva (Molly Haddon), wife of the overtly sexual and bombastic Count (Paul Murton) whose every creepy move is to seduce something young and pretty.
When Countess Almaviva finds out the rogue-ish Count’s loins would like to savour the feisty maid Suzanne on the eve of her wedding night to fellow servant Figaro, all comedic mayhem breaks loose.
Charles Morey’s modern adaptation of Le Mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais written in 1778, stays true to its delightful, entertaining, witty humour with themes that are true to modern times: the battle of the sexes, economic divide between the rich and the poor and Government accepting bribes.
As Figaro declares during his monologue of life reflection, upon learning that his wife-to- be has ‘agreed’ to meet up with the pervy Count, he sets off on a diatribe of his life experience:
“I took up my pen and wrote a book everyone admired that offered the modest suggestion that the rich should pay more tax than the poor, speculators should be responsible for their own losses and government ministers should not accept gifts from wealthy merchants.”
Directed by Shane Bates and performed by an engaging cast of exceptional actors, each cast member holds their own with gusto: Figaro (Ted Crosby) and Suzanne (Yasmin Arkinstall) match as the feisty maid and slightly overbearing fiancé, and Cherubin (Tim Murphy) is every bit the sex-crazed page. While everyone sympathises with the desperate Countess, my favourite is the lecherous count who plays every bit the pervy old rogue with one thing on his mind.
Funny, delightful and vital, this slapstick comedy of mixed identities is a must-see.
Where: The Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street Sydney NSW 2000
When: September 2 nd – October 14 th 2017-09- 04
Phone: 1300 237 217