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A CurtainUp London Review
The Wolf From the Door
Lady Catherine (Anna Chancellor) is landed gentry, the daughter of a marquis, and although we know of the occasional predilection of some very rich girls for the revolutionary, or even the criminal, her plan is much more extensive, drawing on her unlikely same-minded acquaintances like the Bishop of Bath and Wells (Pearce Quigley). Catherine has recruited Leo (Calvin Demba) an orphan with no ties and a beautiful face to lead the revolution which she hopes will wipe out people like herself.
Leo is an interesting character as he listens and learns from Lady Catherine. Their first act of resistance is the beheading of a supermarket assistant manager, Derek (Pearce Quigley). Catherine explains, "A human being should not be made to feel powerless, Derek, but every time I stroll down your well-stocked aisles this is exactly how I feel, I feel powerless and I feel alone, and I feel like the organization you work for not only helps to engender that feeling in myself and in others but that it positively thrives off that feeling." This talk of beheading of course takes us into really uncomfortable territory.
The set is like a divided Great British Bake Off tent, twin white tents, to supply the changed cast. In between a large screen relays images of where we are on the road trip through England, starting with a station with trains and then a visit to Catherine's stately home, via a local high street to the Regency crescent in Bath. Besides Leo and Catherine there are just two actors, Pearce Quigley and Sophie Russell, who with credible costume changes take on all the fifteen other male and female roles.
Anna Chancellor is always an interesting actor and she carries off this quixotic role ably supported by Calvin Demba as Leo, a young man who is not phased by anything. However it is difficult to understand what it all means other than to amuse with a Pythonesque sense of the ridiculous.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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