reviewed by Paula Citron
Play, Orchestra Play
Red Peppers, Fumed Oak and Shadow Play from Tonight at 8:30
Written by Noel Coward
Directed by Christopher Newton
Starring Patty Jamieson, Jay Turvey, Steven Sutcliffe, Julie Martell and Wendy Thatcher
At the Royal George Theatre until Oct. 31
The Shaw Festival is presenting the Canadian premiere of the complete Noel Coward play cycle Tonight at 8:30.
Presumably, Red Peppers, Fumed Oak and Shadow Play have been grouped together under the title Play, Orchestra Play because they are all about married couples. Also, two of them are musicals which means one trip for the orchestra.
Red Peppers features a squabbling music hall couple who yell at each other and band together to yell at everyone else. Coward’s music hall songs are very witty. Fumed Oak is the teak of its day, and refers to a coveted item that married women want in their homes. The focus is a passive man burden with shrews. Shadow play is the drug induced dream of a woman with a cheating husband.
The plays are pleasant diversions with strong acting by Patty Jamieson in particular, and crisp direction by Christopher Newton.
Play, Orchestra Play continues at the Royal George Theatre until Oct. 31.