Shakespeare on love – Carclew – Till 8 Feb – 3K

By Peter Maddern

This rework of the 2010 Fringe show of the same name enjoys the benefit of a simply perfect setting of the lawns before the entrance to Carclew House in North Adelaide. Well, at least, visually, for being under the airport flight path and a couple of hundred metres from Adelaide’s rowdiest bells ushering in evensong does create its own problems but they in no derogated from this performance.

Cheryl Bradley, an actor from the 2010 show at the Adelaide House of Flowers, now directs Anna Cheney and Tim Overton with assistance from Sara Lange (and Matthew Gregan on guitar) as they work their way through the bard’s various soliloquies, stand-offs and set-upons on the topic of love, not only as excerpts from his works but on the topic generally of ‘what is love.’ Both actors do an admirable job, delivering passion and humour when required in equally successful measure, with the Romeo and Juliet balcony scene a highlight.

Being in the open air, with an audience spread out on chairs and bean bags, has its own logistical difficulties and at times there were sound problems arising. Whether the somewhat mundane dress of all players was a plus is debatable (though it is acknowledged the play is not meant as a greatest hits show) not that Ms Cheney was anything other than delightful in whatever role she was portraying.

These sorts of summer nights are the ones we long for when winter hits and simply the ambience and subject matter should attract all many of arts lovers during this season to the top of Montefiore Hill. It is an adorable hour where sunset only ushers in yet greater pleasure.

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