Featured image- Yasmin Arkinstall as Suzanne and Ted Crosby as Figaro. Photographs by Tom Massey.
‘Figaro. Figaro, Figaro’…I can hear you singing. But, hey no, this isn’t the opera. The Genesian Theatre Company is putting on a production of the recent hit adaptation, by Charles Morey, of the play by Beaumarchais which was made into a classic opera by Mozart.
Morey’s adaptation is plenty of fun with the focus being on the scheming between the main participants. The show plays out likes a great game of chess between Boris Spassky and Bobby Fisher. Strategy and cunning are everything….
The play features four main players; two are royalty, two are servants…The servants, Figaro, the man servant to the Count, wants to marry Suzanne, the housemaid to the Countess.
The Countess has no issues in regards to the marriage. The Count however does Why? Because the beautiful, sexy Suzanne has been his mistress for quite some time. He won’t be able to continue his shenanigans if Suzanne ties the knot…
The Count comes up with every scheme that he can possibly think of to keep them single. That is until Suzanne together with none other than the Countess herself, who is only too aware of her husband’s antics, devise a devious plot which checkmates the Count.
Shane Bates’ production serves the play well. She keeps the action, which all takes place over one day in a chateau in Seville, Spain, going in a very breezy and farcical pace.
We walk into the theatre to see what looks like a conventional, compact set by Owen Gimblett,which ends up being one of his most versatile and impressive sets in his long career), as well listening to some lovely music by Mozart coming over the speakers.
Stage time is around two hours and is filled with the cast, garbed in period costumes and wearing extravagant wigs, giving very endearing performances.
Ted Crosby impressed as the ebullient, sharp witted, at times philisophical, even profound Figaro.
Yasmin Arkinstall was charming as the good natured, teasing, playful Suzanne.
Paul Murton was appropriately vapid and blustery as the licentious, self centred Count.
Molly Haddon held her own as the world weary and Count wearied Countess.
The supporting cast comprised of seven very enthusiastic players. From amongst them, my favourite performances were by Rod Stewart who gave a very off the top performance as the ever stammering Judge, and Constance Khoo as the bubbly Fanchette.
Recommended, Charles Morey’s FIGARO is playing the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, city until Saturday 14th October.
Performances are Friday and Saturday evenings at 7.30 pm and Sundays at 4.30 pm.