The Ladies Man

The Ladies Man
Charles Morey’s adaptation of Georges Feydeau’s Tailleur pour Dames. Growl Theatre. Windsor School of Arts, Brisbane. 26 April – 4 May 2013

Growl chose a play to open their new-found ‘home theatre’ that is unfamiliar to contemporary theatregoers, and they gave it their best shot. The French version of this play established Feydeau’s reputation for cleverly devised farces in theBelle Époque.

This play deals with a socially respected central character who ventured outside his marriage and set off a complex web of deceptions, mistaken identities and delusions. Farces always require audiences to suspend disbelief, so a snappy pace is essential.

Savvy co-directors, Jason Sharland and Liz Ellison, cast eight competent actors and achieved the frenetic action. With the regulation five doors for any farce set, the plot rollicked along from the bizarre to the ridiculous.

Gary Coveny as pivotal character, Dr Molineaux, sustained his deception neatly until the resolution; Rosanna Brennan played his wife with dignity and bombastic support from her mother, Mme Aigreville (Kathleen Yorkston). Others caught up in the intrigue were Leisa Bye playing the doctor’s would-be-if-she-could-be mistress, Suzanne Aubin; and tall and solid Simon Corvan as Suzanne’s German husband (in full military regalia – a literary nudge towards France’s win over the Germans in the recent Franco-Prussian war); Lee St Clair dealt splendidly with thelisping Monsieur Bassinet, caught up by default in the intrigue; and the doctor’s two house servants, Étienne (Luke Constable) and Marie (Andrea O’Halloran).

A great début in their new venue!

Jay McKee

Photographerr: Matthew Parakas

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