The Rivals

Review of The Rivals Theatre Royal Haymarket

After studying The Recruiting Officer, a play of similar time period, I wanted to understand the style of acting further and how this kind of play would connect with the modern day audience. When along came The Rivals, written by Richard Sheridan, with a superb cast I simply couldn’t resist, and performed at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, a perfect theatre to hold such a play.

The Rivals

However, I was worried that the play’s humour would be lost and I wouldn’t get to grips with the language. But I was wrong. Sheridan’s witty script kept the theatre, and me, in fits of giggles throughout the play and the language was as relevant to today as it was in the 18th Century. I was quite proud that I kept up with audience and was enjoying it as if it was written for the modern day people. I believe this is a prime example of how a classic, well-written, good-humoured comedy stands the test of time.

At moments in the play you do get caught up with the fast moving pace and forgot to concentrate on the language, but I did find myself staring at the incredible costumes especially the women’s. A credit to Christopher Woods the costume designer.

Led by Penelope Keith, who played Mrs Malaprop, and Peter Bowles, who played Sir Anthony Absolute. The pair showed their excellent skills once again and I was always waiting for their character’s return on stage. Other stand out actors to me was Robyn Addison, who played Lydia Languish. She played Lydia beautiful and shows the determination and strength of her character very well. Keiron Self, or better known to me as Roger from My Family, suited the character of Bob Acres down to a tee and was hilarious every time he entered the stage.

15th January 2011

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