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“The production’s best laughs came from the antics and looks of those without many lines – Gareth Potter, Andre Morin, Paul Rowe and Lally Cadeau. Cast as the dimwitted, untrained servants, Misters Potter Morin and Rowe form a background comic trio who eagerly try to impress their boss and guests and fail miserably at every turn but succeed in keeping the audience in stitches…”
“Ziegler’s befuddled Mr. Hardcastle is the epitome of decency, a man obsessed with everything old. He keeps the comedy, which occasionally shows a tendency to spin out of control, grounded and on course. Since debuting with the festival 28 years ago, Peacock has demonstrated a knack for 18th-century comedy and as Mrs. Hardcastle she gleefully spits out genteel invective like a garden sprinkler going off in all directions.”
“The strong performances by the lead actors are capably complemented by a supporting cast that manages to earn many of the play’s biggest guffaws. As Mr. Hardcastle’s trio of manservants, Morin, Gareth Potter and Paul Rowe are simply fantastic…Martha Henry takes one of the season’s more talented casts and creates one of the funniest Stratford Festival productions in recent memory.”
“Though [Lucy Peacock] doesn’t appear on stage much, she’s easily the best part of the play, especially the first time she walks out in what she thinks is a cutting-edge hairstyle. Whether she was seeking reassurance that “her age (40) didn’t put her over the hill or panicking at the thought of being confronted by a highwayman — and worrying that her precious Tony would be killed — watching her performance was the highlight of the show.”
Many believe that comedy is the most difficult—and to be fair, subjective—art form to get right. But with a text that has been tickling funny bones since 1773, how odd that Martha Henry’s production looked fantastic…but the yuks were decidedly too few and far between to lift this version up to the ranks of must-see at Stratford.”
“Maev Beaty’s Kate Hardcastle is a model of femininity in the true sense of the word — strong and smart, yet with a world of tenderness underneath. And as her more comic counterpart, Sara Farb makes Constance Neville a totally adorable bundle of egotistical twitches, simultaneously perfectly in period and completely contemporary.”