Saturday, October 26, 2013

Hay Fever at New Theater Sydney an Actor's Play

Last night's performance of Noël Coward's "Hay Fever" at New Theater, Newtown, Sydney confirm it as an actor's play. A crazy family in a 1920s country house drive their guests to distraction. Alice Livingstone has great fun in the lead part as a retired actor, Judith Bliss, reliving her stage triumphs. Tess Haubrich as Myra Arundel standard head and shoulders above the rest of the cast both literally and in performace.

Unfortunately while Hay Fever is fun for the actors, the play has less relevance for a modern audience. The set reflects the period of the 1920s well, but some aspects of the era are jarring for a modern audience. The director has cut down the amount of smoking the script demands, but even so the constant presence of cigarettes is difficult to understand for a modern audience.

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