The Rivals – Southwark Playhouse

For those whose only theatre experience in Southwark entails just The Globe or Chocolate Factory should head to the arches under London Bridge Station and The Southwark Playhouse.

Sheridan’s Rivals is not an immediate choice for a sell out show on a cold Wed January evening but perhaps thanks to a certain Celia Imrie being cast in the show this is the case.

As it happens Ms Imrie is cast in support (and as it happens sports a corset of equally supporting nature) but that matters not a jot as this restoration romp gets just the right amount of updating. As it happens Ms Imrie’s cleavage should get its own Equity card and puts a whole new meaning to the phrase heaving bossom!

Played against a simple set and featuring little ditties from well known restoration period artists such as Beyonce, this is a well conceived and performed Rom Com. Cads, Mistaken identities and Mrs Malaprops famous twists of the tongue give the audience plenty to chuckle over.

The overhead rumbles of the passing trains may not be period sounds but the audience are too engrossed in this frothy romp to care.

If you are trying to read the programme in the bar you may need to bring a torch to cope with the gloom but otherwise this little should delight

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