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The Rivals Press Reviews

Written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
Directed: Lindsay Posner
Starring: Jack Chissick, Wendy Craig, Jacqueline Defferary, Robert Goodale, Mali Harries, Ian Hughes, Des McAleer, Robert Portal, Emily Raymond, David Tennant, Benjamin Whitrow.
Story: Sheridan's 18th century comedy of love, sentimentality and marriage.

A round up of the press notices by Darren Dalglish

This Stratford transfer has received mixed  notices from the popular press....... PETER HEPPLE for THE STAGE described it as a " well-nigh perfect comedy of English manners". THE INDEPENDENT says, "The divine Wendy Craig is a revelation as that 'weather-beaten old she-dragon', Mrs Malaprop." MICHAEL BILINGTON says, "A good, decent, middle-of-the-road revival." THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "The show offers complete delight... It's a great night - the pineapple of perfection in fact, as Mrs Malaprop might say." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD was not too impressed by the production saying, "Less than sharp revival leaves high hopes disappointed." He goes on to say "David Tennant...makes Jack a dull boy, hardly raising much laughter.." ALASTAIR MACAULAY for THE FINANCIAL TIMES was not impressed either saying,"In a production so devoid of depth, actors often fall back on vulgar playing, and several of the men do so with glee." He goes on to say, "Craig's Mrs Malaprop and Portal's Acres deserve all sorts of praise. But really they just deserve a better production." MACAULAY ends his review scathingly, "We have to sit through scene after scene of tiresome exposition and coarse caricature. If the RSC can't be relied upon to bring depth to popular entertainment, who can? Comedy deserves better, and so do we." JANE EDWARDES for TIME OUT says, "A high-spirited production of Sheridan's comedy in Stratford has sadly lost its edge on the Barbican's main stage."

(Production pictures provided by EPO)

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