Spitfire Theatre Company is a little unusual; the cast is a 50/50 mix of students and professional actors. It’s an interesting concept and one that gives wonderful results.
There is an element of farce to this play. Algernon and Ernest are carefree and well to do young men, both living double lives. Ernest wants to settle down and marry Gwendoline and lead one life, here is where his problems start.
Christopher Round is Ernest (or is he?) he is suave and cunning while being vulnerable when it comes to Gwendoline. Every snap change of mood is played beautifully. His nemesis is Algernon (Janeks Babidorics) he is the perfect foil, he lives for the moment until he is smitten. The pair create some wonderful moments in the second act. Gwendoline (Romy Alexander) is a young lady who knows what she wants, she is one of the selfie generation, but she meets her match in Cecily (Christina Constance Bower). One of the highlights for me was their first meeting, everything about the scene was a delight to watch.
Oscar Wilde's play is given a slight twist in this production, the dialogue is faithful (on the whole) to the script but the telegrams and diaries are replaced, physically by mobile phones. The attitudes of Gwendoline and Cecily are also more modern than the script suggests. It sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it adds an extra element and relevance. The characters also at times play to a camera crew as in a fly on the wall documentary.
With a stripped back set and an intimate venue the acting and the characterisation shone. A thoroughly enjoyable evening of engaging performances.
Love Midlands Theatre
Sharing the latest theatre news and reviews around the Midlands.