Thursday 08th December

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Marriage @ Jack Studio Theatre

| Comedy, Culture, Hidden London, Theatre | 02/07/2014

Photograph by Tim Stubbs Hughes

Another capacity crowd at the Jack Studio Theatre welcomed a new run of Gogol’s ‘Marriage’. Loaded with wisecracks from the start, the story, such as it is (translator Howard Colyer compares it to ‘Waiting for Godot’) is a grower. Sunny Jeon’s graphic-y design, de-constructed, Surreal, opens-up the space. You almost feel inside the setting whilst simultaneously looking-on. Is the same dichotomy shared by the players?

A tousle-haired Andrew Venning as Podkolyossin dons a Regency-striped dressing-gown, re-robed as a Victorian gent. His is an admirably understated performance. Confidant Kotchkarev however is the fine court-jester-ish figure of Dominic Cazenove, resplendent in waistcoat of peacock colours and red bow-tie. Meanwhile, Conchita-esque Sarah Morgan clocks in and out like a dazed cuckoo. Jean Apps relishes her role as the gossipy matchmaker Fekla, as pungent as her mustard-colour shirt. The characters, the portrayals, the costuming, all equally strong; Scott Le Crass’ direction, expectedly sensitive, an aesthetic choreography.

Photograph by Tim Stubbs Hughes

It just gets better and better. The scene with the four women is a gem, Colyer’s translation sparkling. Joan Plunkett in a spangled emerald dress is a treat for fringe enthusiasts, and her pairing with Jean Apps a joy. They are ably counterbalanced by Elana Martin as the bartered and barmy bride. Martin’s soliloquised dilemma becomes totally engrossing; an effectual commentary on life and relationships. Her suitors spar to the audience’s delight, and the affable Ste Johnston quips that “I’m a busy man, I can’t spend all day getting married…” But you can’t be too busy to spend an evening getting-in this astonishing drama.

Overground: Honor Oak Park // Four stops from Canada Water // Zone 2


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