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She Stoops To Conquer, Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff ????? .....

A CAPACITY audience always produces that extra buzz of excitement in a theatre, and so it was on the first night of this hugely entertaining production of Oliver Goldsmith's classic comedy.

In this beautifully staged production by Cardiff-based Everyman Theatre, several of the players address the audience directly, drawing them into the events.

Director Marie-Claire Costley blends the wit and warmth of the play, always ensuring it's alive and relevant for a modern audience.

The plot, in which two men are tricked into mistaking a country house for an inn, is developed with great ingenuity.

The themes of class, money, behaviour, appearance, trickery and mistaken identity are subtly drawn out and polished in a well-paced and sparkling production.

Costley and the players sensibly and subtly let us know that they are aware that the play is an artful contrivance, but are careful to ensure that this does not spill over into mockery.

Lynn Hoare leaps with unbounded enthusiasm into the role of Mrs Hardcastle but avoids the temptation to over act the role, even when firing knowing looks at the audience. Osian Edwards is a delight as Tony Lumpkin.

It would be unfair to highlight particular players for praise because the entire cast contribute to an evening of fun and jollity during which the audience laughed out loud on many occasions. | The production runs at Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff until tomorrow. The box office number is 029 2030 4400.

Peter Collins
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 1, 2013
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