Golden Opportunities review at Warehouse Croydon
Set in Restoration France, three friends from university reunite and discover how each may help the other in their professional lives. Things might run smoothly until they realise that the women behind them are not without intrigues and devices of their own. Scribe’s tale survives remarkably well and as presented here, has all the charm and accessibility of an Ayckbourn middle-class comedy. Curtis admits that this adaptation attempts to retain the spirit of the piece rather than a surgical translation and coupled with tight direction from Robert Gillespie and spirited performances this work, from the most prolific playwright in history, proves a worthy showpiece from an often overlooked author.
Roger Ringrose wisely overplays the buffoonery as the jovial nouveau riche Dorbeval, readily dispensing advice on finance and matrimony to his two less successful friends. Max Digby is relatively sombre as the inconstant lover Poligni and Oliver Chopping is exuberant as the zealous artist, Olivier, although it is only by stretching the imagination greatly that one can believe these three were at college together. The ladies of the cast are much more restrained and the relationship between Sioned Jones as Madame Dorbeval and the delightful Fliss Walton as Madame de Brienne is both refreshing and wholly believable. Newcomer Bryony Nolan as the churlish coquette Hermione is delightfully over the top as this hysterical comic creation to match that of her guardian.
Curtis loving adaptation is a success, save a bizarre unsatisfactory ending, and certainly merits a further exploration of Scribe’s canon.
Warehouse, Croydon, September 29-October 22
- Eugene Scribe, translated and adapted by Anthony Curtis
- Robert Gillespie
- Jane Nightwork Productions and Evita Bier for Warehouse Theatre Company
- Oliver Chopping, Max Digby, Alex Finch, Sioned Jones, Bryony Nolan, Roger Ringrose and Fliss Walton
- Running time
- 2hrs 30mins