LOVE FOR LOVE – RSC, Stratford

In Opinion, Plays, Regional theatre, Reviews by Libby PurvesLeave a Comment

Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon – until 22 January 2016


There’s a bustle of backstage larking before the curtain, cast dashing around in shirtsleeves, manoeuvring a hamper , getting stuck in ropes and tripping over a life-size model crocodile. So get in your seat early. Especially if you want a random hug from Mr Scandal (Robert Cavanah) or to be picked on to represent Queen Anne with a polystyrene crown from the gift shop plonked on your head (the Queen, it seems, saw Congreve’s play on her 32nd birthday, in 1697).

Director Selina Cadell notes joyfully in the programme that Restoration Comedy was always complicit: actors and audience alike letting it be known that it was all “play’ and the relationship was open: not until 1912 did the idea of the “fourth wall” get traction. So throughout this riotous, consistently entertaining evening