The Arts

Stratford Festival 2007 – Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband

by Paula Citron

Putting Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband in Stratford’s cavernous Festival Theatre is an odd choice. I had trouble hearing many of the actors and the action seemed very remote for such an intimate play.

That being said, director Richard Monette’s production is greater than the sum of its parts. While I have things to quarrel about, the overall impact is a restless driving energy. Tension is palpable. Monette succeeds on the general, if not on the particular. As a theatrical experience, his production works.

Tom McCamus as the erring Sir Robert Chiltern has the part nailed, except words are lost at high passion. David Snelgrove as Lord Arthur Goring, the romantic hero who saves the day, seems to be attending elocution class. In fact, one can find fault with almost everyone.

There are, however, stunning performances from Brian Tree and Sara Topham, while Dixie Seatle as femme fatale Mrs. Cheveley is compelling.

An Ideal Husband continues until Oct. 27.

From Stratford’s Festival Theatre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.

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