The School For Wives
Nova @ India Buildings
3rd – 20th August (14.00)
Designed around the 1662 comedy of the great French comedic Playwright, Moliere, The School of Wives is a play about desire and passion. Known as one of the greatest actors in comedy of his time, Moliere gave us such classics as The School of Wives. A Lord, a young lover and a pair of inadequate servants make for a good tale of near misses and tribulations. The set is fine, the space is used well, & with an excellent use of period costumes the atmosphere is made comfortable and believable as our young, beautiful girl is plucked from the hands of poverty to begin her fight for love.
TSFW is a serious, yet shockingly funny take on an old classic born well before its time, brought to Edinburgh by Roll Up Theatre With underlying jokes directed at the smug sexual part of the show, the laughs where creeping out between bright, crisp and finely tuned acting as all the cast delivered their parts with intent. The two servants are played beautifully, using their ability to mock the master they create a chamber of laughter. At all times this is a show of great physicality – bodily movembents combine with facial expressions to describe the feelings at hand, & furnish in the viewer an emotional attachment to the characters & their situations. The leading male shone in particular, & to witness such ability tocompletely pull in an audience with such skills is endearing.
When a production is taken from centuries ago and brought forward to the modern world, it requires remouldingto suit the changing tastes of a zeitgeist. With that in mind, does TSFW achieve this? I would say yes, & after the performanceI got the head’s up from Roll Up Theatre themselves, who told The Mumble, ‘Our adaptation invigorates Moliere’s classic with new dialogue and new characters, promising to bring both razor sharp wit and the darker subtexts of paranoia and possessiveness to the fore in this masterful exploration of male fragility and domestic politics.’ Step-by-step their show pulls you in, until you arrive at the crux & crossroads of the play – a decision has to be made regarding this raging love triangle. Uncle, young lover or the loyal maids… who will it be? Funny, serious, twisted and gripping, this is a must see show for any Moliere adept or any lover of live theatrical drama… & you will be, like I, happily surprised!
Reviewed by Raymond Speedie