The Rivals

The Rivals

A Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, Bristol Old Vic and Citizens Theatre co-production
Directed by Dominic Hill
Liverpool Playhouse
Until 29th October 2016

Review by Colin Serjent
Photograph by Mark Douet

This was the proverbial comedy of manners, written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, set in the 18th century, or what you could term a restoration comedy, which did not work for me. I felt little empathy with any of the characters.

Sheridan’s aim was to lampoon the insincere romantic liaisons people got involved in and still do! He also focused on the alienation that can occur between parents and their offspring, notably when money is due to be inherited by their children.

I found the production confusing, for example the rat-a-tat manner of the dialogue, as well as actors, not participating at certain times, wandering around the edges of the stage. A pointless exercise.

In essence the story is about deception, jealousy, pretension – endless facets of human nature.

One comment I heard about The Rivals was that It resembled an early Shakespeare comedy. I would not venture that for.

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