An Ideal Husband
, Sefton Park
29th July 2009
Liverpool’s stunning Palm House provided the perfect vital expanse
for Liverpool Network Theatre’s production of Oscar Wilde’s
play An Ideal Husband. The cast allied confidently, with each actor delivering
a commendable RP accent and physicality to fit the period.
The talented Laura Michelle (Lady Basildon) and Yvonne Thompson (Lady
Marchmont) opened the show beautifully, displaying comical centred performances
interpreted with wit, irony and perfect timing. Robbie O’Neil delivered
an energetic and easily watchable performance as the dandified hero Lord
Goring. Joel Ross unfortunately failed to possess the emotional flexibility
or vocal and physical strength to deliver an accurate demonstration of
the deceitful Chiltern, whose seemingly successful life is based on mere
fabrication. He failed to connect to the other actors, delivering speech
laboriously and ducking out of showing genuine emotion.
The direction failed to emphasise key plot hooks, which made the production
ebb into a repetitive rhythm. This became increasingly difficult to watch
and made the show lose clarity of its key themes of marriage, love and
deceit. The pace of the performance, particularly in the final act, was
too slow and not at all crisp for the demands of a wordy Wilde play.
This was a strong amateur production set in beautiful surroundings that
demonstrated brilliant moments of real professionalism. However, it was
unfortunately littered with discrepancies, which blocked the production
reaching its full potential.