Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Rover by Hunter Productions

The Rover is one of the great discoveries of the 20th century--a virtually forgotten comedy-drama by one of the two most popular dramatsts of the Restoration. Amazing, in the male-dominated theatrical swirl, Behn single-handed created the role of the first professional female playwright in history.

Hunter Productions brings The Rover to life at the Edinburgh Festival with a zest, honesty, and creativity that would have made Behn herself proud. Her language has as much wit as any Stoppard play and still very relevant social comment. In this company's graceful hands, her words are urgent and full of vitality. Tom Hunter, as the rogue Willmore, makes us like the scalawag despite his considerable faults. Abby Forknall, Sarah McKendrick and Valeria (as Florinda, Hellena and Valeria) are a formidable trio. Together they model Behn's new vision for fighting the gender war.

Natasha Dawn plays the take-no-prisoners courteson, Angelica. In addition, she is director and adaptor, pairing down the original text to 90 minutes of swift playing time. Dawn stages the play with panache, making full use of the small space, beautifully chosen props and costumes. This is true ensemble work.

View some excellent production photos at http://www.myspace.com/hunterproductionsuk

This production is a disctinctive example of young professionals at their best--creating their own opportunities in the setting of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As Behn herself did beginning in the fateful year of 1640--they are making it happen for themselves.

What a fitting finale for my Feast of Fringe plays.


No comments: