Candida

George Bernard Shaw

Theatre Royal, Bath

From 03 July 2013 to 20 July 2013

Review by Sue Gordon

George Bernard Shaw’s Candida dramatises the story of the impulsive wife of a self-important, verbose clergyman who faces the moral dilemma of choosing between her arrogant and dull husband and a much younger young man who is delicate and all-too precious poet.

This comic offering, directed by Simon Goodwin, is not for those who do not enjoy language for the comedy lies mainly in the wit of often lengthy wordplay.

There are strong performances from Jamie Parker as the sermonising clergyman with socialist tendencies and from Frank Dillane as the feeble young would-be lover of Candida, who is played with relish, if not always great subtlety, by Charity Wakefield.

Sadly, David Troughton, who plays Candida’s father was absent due to family illness but his replacement, Christopher Goodwin, stole the show as the scheming bounder Burgess.

Candida, which opens the summer season at The Theatre Royal Bath, is a predictable choice for a theatre which now has a growing reputation for producing plays by established writers starring at least two names middle-class television viewers will know. It was all a bit safe and bland for my liking, but the great and the good of Bath seemed to lap it up.