Lady Windermere's Fan Review 1997

Wednesday, 2 April, 1997

Many gentleman have been seen visiting Mrs Erlynne, the mysterious new women that has moved into the area . This has given Mrs Erlynne a bad reputation amongst the aristocrat ladies of the town. When Lady Windermere discovers that her husband has been seeing this lady, she thinks about leaving him and going away with her admirer, Lord Darlington. However, what she doesn’t know is that Mrs Erlynne is blackmailing her husband with a secret that if it became public would ruin both himself and his wife.

This is a wonderful play by Wilde, with some witty and intelligent writing. The drama has not dated in any way, these sort of scandals still go on today. However , BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE from the TIMES review says” But a programme note drawing attention to the current fuss about sleaze in high places cannot convince me that this is an up-to-date piece, or anything but a formulaic melodrama lacking edge and depth. “

The production is not the best I’ve seen, but nevertheless it is still a good one with some confident acting by a relatively unknown cast , with the exception of Gabrielle Drake who plays a wonderful Mrs Erlynne. There is also a fine performance by Rosalind Knight as ‘Duchess Of Berwick’. NICHOLAS DE JONGH of THE EVENING STANDARD agrees, in his review he says “ The production....brightly captures the cut and thrust exchanges in drawing room society where cynicism and snobbery rule...Rosalind Knight provides the most delicious feast of comic acting now available in London..”

This is a competent production which will not disappoint and is well worth seeing.

(Darren Dalglish)

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