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The School for Wives
by Moliere
translated by Kenneth McClellan

Wimbledon Studio Theatre
and Battersea Arts Centre

1999
21st September to 9th October
Monday to Saturday at 7.30 pm

Cast list

Reviews

Flier

Arnolphe
Nicholas Gasson
Chrysalde
Sean Kemp
Alain
James Callum
Georgette
Jane Paul
Agnes
Lisa May
Horace
Andrew Fallaize
Notary
Steven Matthews
Oronte
James Callum
Enrique
Steven Matthews
 
Directed by
Melissa Holston
Design
Kate Frith
Kate Read
Lighting Design
Dave McCabe
Stage Manager
Kate Stillman

Logos would like to thank Jonathan Ashley, Steve Knapper, Adam & Simon Fovargue, Didi Chapman, the Wandsworth Arts team, the staff at BAC, Bob and all at the Wilditch Community Centre

 

The Stage
29th September 1999
Chris Borg

Logos has an enviable reputation for brisk and refreshing productions and the company provides another demonstration of why with a beautifully paced production of Moliere's paranoia- and deceit-laden comedy at Wimbledon Studio.  Momentum never flags as Kenneth McClellan's superb new translation - fluent, funny and lightly controlled - gives an excellent cast plenty of opportunities to shine in the story's web of plotting and counter-plotting.  No one seizes them better than the demonic Nicholas Gasson, who gives central character Arnolphe an air of increasing derangement and frenzy as he attempts to seal arrangements for his marriage to Agnes (Lisa May) whom he has kept in isolation and ignorance in order to control her.  But when he discovers that she has fallen in love with nice but slightly dim passer-by Horace (Andrew Fallaize), the paranoia begins in earnest and Gasson's performance, packed with gestures of smooth triumph and some Kenneth Williams-esque expressions of horror when infallible plans go astray, keeps the comic momentum bubbling.  May and Fallaize also shine as the couple whose initial trusting failure to see Arnolphe's intent gives way to sudden realisation, May giving Agnes' final confrontation with Arnolphe genuine dignity and grace.  Other excellent contributions come from James Callum, Jane Paul, Sean Kemp and Stephen Matthews, and the company's assurance shines through in the play's hectic finale of crumbling schemes and just desserts.  A striking, richly coloured Paris courtyard set and stylish lighting (Kate Firth, Kate Read and Dave McCabe) complete a highly entertaining production. 

Wandsworth Borough News
20th September 1999

When it comes to farce, and classic farce at that, there can surely be no better company than Logos.  I have revelled in their productions both dramatic and comic in the past and my early Christmas present this year has been the joy to see them in Moliere's silly farce about a cuckolded guardian, The School for Wives, beautifully directed by Melissa Holston... The play unfolds with a good deal of style and some perfect performances.  I urge you to see the Arnolphe of Nicholas Gasson.  Confusion and perplexion sit upon his brow along with the importance of his situation, to great comic effect.  Andrew Fallaize gives a dashing performance as the honest, handsome suitor Horace, and Lisa May makes a delightful and intelligent Agnes, more wise and beautiful than is good for her.  The two servants, Georgette and Alain, are in the good hands of Jane Paul and James Callum, and Sean Kemp closes the proceedings with a memorable epilogue.  For the Wimbledon Studio there is also a fairytale setting, designed by the two Kates, Frith and Read (both, incidentally, from Wimbledon School of Art).  The translation and adaptation, by Kenneth McClellan, founder of the company, is in rhyming couplets so audacious they make the audience shout with laughter out of surprise at their sudden cheekiness.  In short, the evening is not to be missed.  I found it delightful, professional and entirely satisfactory.  But I have been spoiled by this company and now come to expect that, still, I always get that little bit extra. 

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