The Lady With a Dog
White Bear Theatre
Reviewed – 23rd February 2018
“warm, charming and delightful”
With the current news in today’s society being portrayed as very dark and upsetting, it was extremely refreshing to watch Mark Giesser’s bright and cheerful adaptation of Chekhov’s romantic comedy, ‘The Lady With a Dog.’
Set in Britain in the late 1920s, this simple “boy meets girl” love story (with the exception of a Pomeranian dog), is quite delightful. It was as fresh as the sea air that Anne Dennis (Beth Burrows) takes in when walking on the beach with her new acquaintance, Damian Granville (Alan Turkington). They soon begin to exchange their common interests – one of them being Pomeranian dogs. However, it is Damian who is up to his old tricks as he tries to seduce Anne, even though they are both married.
Something I found particularly peculiar, was the fact that both characters didn’t shy away from revealing the truth about their spouses. They were very upfront and honest, and still agreed to indulge in the secret love affair. Burrows and Turkington did a superb job at portraying the chemistry between these two devilish characters, and worked beautifully together at conveying their audacious relationship. The sexual desire between them soon escalates when they dance a passionate Argentine tango, (choreographed by Orley Quick), but later Anne admits to feeling “cheap” and “vulgar” after sleeping with the London banker. Here, Burrows succeeds in portraying an engaging story but also a very accurate one, where women in the 1920s wanted to escape from the mundane duties of a housewife and feel liberated.
There were also great performances from Duncan Maclnnes as Carl Dennis and Laura Glover as Elaine Granville, the cheated spouses who would often make the audience chuckle with their brilliant one-liners. Congratulations are definitely in order for Oscar Selfridge’s set design and Giulia Scrimieri’s costume design that both helped encapsulate the 1920s post-war feel.
There is no doubt that both the cast and crew have worked extremely hard at creating a very successful show. It was warm, charming and delightful, and was one that I very much enjoyed.
Reviewed by Jessica Brewer
Photography by Andreas Grieger
The Lady With a Dog
White Bear Theatre until 10th March