Writer: Pierre de Marivaux
Adaptation: David K. Barnes
Director: Roxy Cook
Reviewer: Danielle Shields
Pierre de Marivaux’s flamboyant farceGames of Love and Chanceis a story that stands the test of time despite being three centuries old. It is exceptional that this adaptation of the play is Zut Alors Theatre’s première production. Playwright David K. Barnes has set it during the roaring 1920s which certainly causes the audience to roar.
The comedy is a fun look at how social class has a firm relationship to romance. Here we have wealthy Sylvia Botcherby (Esmé Patey-Ford) who decides to switch with her maid Edith Smith (Amy Millns) in order to spy on an affluent gentleman who she has been arranged to marry without ever meeting him.
Swapping identities to see how the other half live is a trope frequently use, so the plot may be nothing original, but what makes this play stand out is its well-developed characters. The two who are the most hilarious are the ones with the least stage time. If Basil Fawlty was an obnoxious aristo then he would be Sir Oscar Botcherby, the father who claims a glass of orange juice (with an added few shots of course) to begin his day is what has made him a success. By the way Hamish Colville brings a faultless commanding air to Botcherby it is clear that his expert knowledge on Marivaux, Colville has previously performed in two of the playwright’s adaptations, has paid off. The other character has roughly twenty lines in the entire script yet it only takes a grumbled word from Felix Trench to have the audience howling. He is the loner forgotten son, Martin Botcherby.
The glamorous era is also greatly complemented by live instrumentals where the three musicians themselves laugh alongside the audience at the lively ridiculousness of the whole spectacle
This incredibly funny and silly adaptation is a positive crowd pleaser.
Runs until Sat 23rdAug