The Man of Mode

George Etherege
Braindead Theatre
C eca

Braindead Theatre have created a heavily conceptual version of Etherege's Restoration comedy, The Man of Mode.

Despite cutting the play to ribbons and the running time to only an hour, they still manage to entertain, though the plot can be tricky to follow so great is the pace.

Director Gemma Wright has decided that this era is mirrored by the equally self-indulgent New Romantics of the early 1980s. She and the cast have then taken this idea to its limits, presumably mortgaging all of their assets to pay for the performance rights to 15 or 20 hit songs which create the period atmosphere.

The main characters are all there and look great, in their retro (fancy dress these days) clothing. The pick is inevitably William Atkins playing Sir Fopling Flutter as Adam Ant. He is the unhappy poseur who is used as a catalyst to bring together other couples.

The sexually charged shenanigans fit perfectly into the clubbing generation who while nights away on the dance floor looking for sex and possibly even marriage.

There, we see Bellair and Dorimant (Pete Watts and Freddie Noble) toying with affections before eventually landing up with their Mrs Rights, Emilia and Harriet (Jess Carrivick and Zara Malik),

This young cast are not all stars in the making but there is a lot of talent on show to add to the novelty of the staging.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher