Lady Windermere’s Fan

Lady Windermere’s Fan
By Oscar Wilde. Directed by Greg Scurr Nash Theatre, New Farm. July 14 – August 5, 2017.

This interplay between various levels of society in a sea of gossip and scandal which causes both outrage and indignation makes for an interesting interpretation of this play, first produced in 1892.  Wilde set the play initially in London but director Greg Scurr has it in Brisbane in the summer of 1954. This meant the audience could relate to their own town, understand the accents and know the music played for background and atmosphere. For the most part, it worked well.

The various locations were handled well with some very clever set design which allowed for major changes with minimal delays. Unfortunately, the standard of the acting varied widely and this distracted somewhat from the overall effect. Corinne Fixter, Lady Windermere, developed this crucial character during the play as her confidence developed. Mrs Duchess Carlisle is the sort of part that can steal a show and Phillipa Bowe played it to the hilt, much to the enjoyment of all. The scene that really worked was at Mr Darlington’s flat where the interplay between the men really brought the show to life. Outstanding were Chris Robinson (Mr Windermere), Ben Gauci (Cecil Graham)  and Greg Hyslop (Augustus Lorton). Well done.

Unfortunately, the many good scenes were then spoiled by others where the performers were too static both in movement and gesture. Overall, director Greg Scurr has presented a good interpretation of the play but a few minor changes would improve it even further.  Why not go and see for yourself.

William Davies

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