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An Ideal Husband review at Clwyd Theatr Cymru Mold

What a fine play An Ideal Husband is, part social comedy of manners, part political thriller, part emotional drama and part love story. This is a production that manages to get all those aspects at such perfect pitch and in such perfect balance that we feel complete engagement with the characters as people while laughing at their witticisms and revelling in the costumes.

What Christopher Morahan and his truly excellent cast shows us is the reality of the people inhabiting what can often seem a wholly artificial world. Take, for example, Amanda Boxer’s exhilarating delivery of Lady Markby’s view of the world. Not only is this long speech very funny with every tiny social nuance perfectly pointed, it’s also spoken as a woman who holds these beliefs to her core.

That feeling of total belief also makes the confrontation between Sir Robert and Lady Chiltern, excellent Simon Dutton and Carolyn Backhouse, truly frightening in its raw emotion.

Even Philip Bretherton’s fine Lord Goring is a man of sense and strong beliefs. He merely prefers to hide them behind a facade of enigmatic and paradoxical utterances. All these feelings make the icy void at the centre of Sophie Ward’s stunningly dressed and utterly ruthless Mrs Cheveley even more chilling.

Selina Boyack’s delectable playing of Mabel Chiltern as a modern miss of the period who also seems so contemporary is a perfect reflection of a production that is completely in period which yet seems to be of here and now.

Production Information

Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Mold, October 19-November 11

Oscar Wilde
Christopher Morahan
Clwyd Theatr Cymru
Cast includes
Philip Bretherton, Sophie Ward, Simon Dutton, Carolyn Backhouse, Selina Boyack
Running time
2hrs 50mins.

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