A hedonistic society consumed by gossip, ambition and greed forms the backdrop for this delicious, witty comedy of manners. Two brothers, one an amiable rake, the other a sanctimonious cad, are tested by their wealthy uncle to determine which is the more trustworthy; and a crusty old fool-in-love tries to tame his feisty, much-younger wife.
Amidst the hilarity and the tangled webs of plots and subplots, lurks deception, double-dealing and backstabbing, but virtue wins out over vice in the end. The foibles and depravity on display in this world of hypocritical scandal mongering are all too recognisable, making Sheridan’s satirical morality play a timeless joy.
New Theatre welcomes director David Burrowes, a recent graduate of NIDA’s Master of Fine Arts (Directing), as he brings Sheridan’s satire firmly into the 21st century, ably assisted by a talented cast and creative team including production designer and fellow NIDA graduate Isabella Andronos (A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Sport for Jove).
“The School for Scandal is a satire about rich people acting like children. It’s about excess and hedonism, consumption and wealth, and reading the play now it’s clear that despite over 200 years having passed, nothing much has changed,” says Burrows.
“The families who make up the play – the Surfaces and the Teazles – could as easily be the Hiltons and the Kardashians; popular, beautiful, wealthy beyond any reason and completely oblivious. The corsets and wigs may be dead and buried but the scandals of the rich and famous are not.”
“This production will be a comedy on cocaine, going 200km/h down a highway in a Lamborghini with a boot full of cash, wearing Armani and more jewellery than your house is worth. This is a show about extravagance, and we’re doing it big.”
Richard Brinsley Sheridan was an Irish playwright and poet and long-term owner of the London Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. He is known for his plays such as The Rivals, The School for Scandal and A Trip to Scarborough. For thirty-two years he was also a Whig Member of the British House of Commons. He is buried at Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey.
Director: David Burrowes Cast: Tel Benjamin, Richard Cotter, Sasha Dyer, Peter Flett, Emma Harvie, Rhys Keir, Chantel Leseberg, Moreblessing Maturure, Cecilia Morrow, Marty O’Neill, Billie Scott, Eleanor Stankiewicz, Samantha Ward, Jacob Warner, Madeleine Withington Designer: Isabella Andronos Sound Designer: Ryan Devlin Dramaturge: Michael Collins Assistant Director: John Ma Set Assistant: Mariya Tkachenko Costume Assistant: Kate Campbell Stage Manager: Bronte Axam Assistant Stage Manager: Keziah Knight
The School for Scandal
New Theatre, 542 King Street, Newtown
Season continues to 30 May 2015
For more information, visit: www.newtheatre.org.au for details.
Image: The School for Scandal – photo by Matthias Engesser ©