Get Schooled

Katherine Parkinson as ‘Lady Teazle’ in “The School for Scandal”Another day, another play… and another gorgeous redheaded actress (or two) to fawn over! This time it’s The School for Scandal at the Barbican Theatre, London, starring Katherine Parkinson as ‘Lady Teazle’, and co-starring Vicki Pepperdine as ‘Mrs. Candour’. Hotcha! To paraphrase the official blurb: “Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s masterful 18th Century comedy is a searing lampoon of a society obsessed by wit, fashion and public reputation. With its glorious cast of characters, this is a timely revival of Sheridan’s high-spirited, comic masterpiece.” So far the reviews I’ve read seem a trifle mixed… while most praise the main performances and the play’s thematic relevance to our own celeb-sessed times, several complain that it runs too long (well over three hours, in fact!), and simply doesn’t provide enough laugh-out-loud moments to compensate for the numb bums. Coincidentally, the last (non-musical) play I saw in a proper theatre was Sheridan’s The Rivals, which I thoroughly enjoyed, so if I were a Londoner with cash to splash I might be curious to see this production… but, that running time could still be a serious deterrent, even to an obsessive fanboy like me! Anyhoo, here are some of the nice things that critics are saying about Ms. Parkinson:

“The production’s saving graces [are] the wonderful Alan Howard and the brittle, brilliant Katherine Parkinson, who manage to make something both funny and true out of a marriage that has a huge age gap and is put under threat by gossip.”The Stage

“…brings a lovely mixture of humour and poignancy”The Telegraph

“…shows her particular ease at gliding between posh and not.”The Guardian

“…a fun-loving husky young dame who convincingly grows into love”The Independent

“…more shrewd than shrewish, beautifully calibrates Lady Teazle’s gradual loss of naivety.”Variety

And, after having a dig at lesser cast members, the Variety review also notes:

“… More composed performances like Vicki Pepperdine’s gleeful, faux-pious Mrs. Candour register far more strongly.”


The School for Scandal at the Barbican Theatre, London. Friday 20 May – Saturday 18 June 2011

About Dee CrowSeer

A comic-book writer with an interest in philosophy, equality, and diversity. He/him.
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