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Marivaux's The Dispute - My Wooord! Productions
Drams 1 and a half
Venue George Square Gardens (167)
Address George Square
In Marivaux's The Dispute, a bizarre experiment asks how men and women would behave if they weren't conditioned by society. Four children are raised in complete isolation. Then at the age of 18 they are let out into a garden where they meet each other. What follows is a shallow but engagingly funny take on the nature vs. nurture debate. The characters have the naivety and innocence of toddlers, but the hormones of teenagers. In rapid succession they discover vanity, desire, sex, jealousy and betrayal (as well as puddles and jumping).
This is quite simply a perfect production. Director Marie-Gabrielle Stewart gets the pace spot on, and makes good use of the lovely George Square gardens. A talented cast really bring the play to life. Zannah Hudson is excellent in the tricky main role of gangly self-obsessed Egle. Lily Lapenna's more assured Adine plays well against her. The boys - played by James Fletcher and Thomas Pickering - succeed in the striking the right note as playful childish Romeos.
Plus - if you're lucky with the weather - you get to watch it all sitting in the park on a sunny afternoon with a picnic.
© Daniel Winterstein, 23rd August 2001