Tag Archives: Stefan Bednarczyk

All’s Well That Ends Well

★★★★

Jermyn Street Theatre

All’s Well That Ends Well

All’s Well That Ends Well

Jermyn Street Theatre

Reviewed – 8th November 2019

★★★★

 

“Ceri-Lyn Cissone steals the comedic limelight with her natural gift and assorted accents”

 

“All’s Well That Ends Well” has always been one of Shakespeare’s least performed works. Classified as one of his ‘problem plays’ it shifts between comedy, fantasy and psychological drama. The evidence that Shakespeare intended it to be a comedy is in the happy ending, as the title would suggest. Criticised as being a rather contrived and truncated conclusion, Tom Littler’s inventive production at the Jermyn Street Theatre adds a subtle twist that instils a touch of much needed pathos.

The action is transposed to 1970s London, Paris and Florence. When his Bertram’s father dies, he rejects his friends, abandons his mother, and flees his childhood home. But the orphaned Helena, in love with him since childhood, refuses to give up hope. Following in her father’s footsteps, she becomes a doctor, saves a monarch’s life, and crosses half of Europe in the passionate pursuit of her happiness.

This is an intimate production, scaled down to a cast of six. The setting is evoked more by the soundtrack than Neil Irish and Anett Black’s slightly baffling set design. Predominated by Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Rumours’ album from the mid seventies, the music is intercut with live piano accompaniment – a leitmotif echoing the iconic riffs of the recorded music. Stefan Bednarczyk and Ceri-Lyn Cissone duet and duel on a pair of upright pianos, seamlessly weaving in and out of the action. Bednarczyk’s arrangements underscore not just the dialogue but the emotional core of the characters that is often lost in the delivery.

The crux is persuading the audience why Helena should be so in love with the outwardly unloveable Bertram. Gavin Fowler shows us a chink in the armour of his roguish indifference to Helena that sheds a ray of hope. We’re not sure that Helena sees this, but her dogged determination to bag her man is matched by Hannah Morrish’s solid performance. Multi-rolling Miranda Foster delivers the most emotional punch as Helena’s newly widowed mother and the ailing Queen (normally a king) of France. Cured from her illness by Helena, Foster is like a starry-eyed convert before reclaiming her steely grasp on the proceedings.

But all in all, much of the musicality of Shakespeare’s language is missing, and the rhythm often fails to ignite the frequent tongue-twisters and tricks of the dialogue. The plot is slight so it’s all in the text which doesn’t always match the magic created by the musical atmosphere.

But what does shine is the comedy, and the torchbearers are the peripheral characters. Robert Mountford’s swaggering Parolles is a gust of fresh air as he relishes his cowardly downfall, while Ceri-Lyn Cissone steals the comedic limelight with her natural gift and assorted accents.

With themes of social mobility, deception and sexual misconduct that are still relevant today, this is a play that mixes dark fairytale with light humour; but, despite moments of magic, the peaks and troughs are never fully reached.

 

Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography by Matt Pereira

 


All’s Well That Ends Well

Jermyn Street Theatre until 30th November 2019

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Agnes Colander: An Attempt At Life | ★★★★ | February 2019
Mary’s Babies | ★★★ | March 2019
Creditors | ★★★★ | April 2019
Miss Julie | ★★★ | April 2019
Pictures Of Dorian Gray (A) | ★★★ | June 2019
Pictures Of Dorian Gray (B) | ★★★ | June 2019
Pictures Of Dorian Gray (C) | ★★★★ | June 2019
Pictures Of Dorian Gray (D) | ★★ | June 2019
For Services Rendered | ★★★★★ | September 2019
The Ice Cream Boys | ★★★★ | October 2019

 

Click here to see our most recent reviews

 

The Sorrows of Satan

presents

 

THE SORROWS OF SATAN

 

Written by Luke Bateman & Michael Conley

Directed by Adam Lenson

 

Tristan Bates Theatre, London | 14 February – 25 March 2017

 

Casting announced for The Sorrows of Satan, a brand new musical play, based on one of the world’s first bestselling novels

The Sorrows of Satan is written by musical theatre writing duo Bateman and Conley and directed by Adam Lenson (Songs for a New World, St. James Theatre) and runs at Tristan Bates for six weeks, opening on 21 February with previews from 14 February

Cast includes Stefan Bednarczyk, Claire-Marie Hall, Dale Rapley and Simon Willmont

 

Stefan Bednarczyk plays Amiel. He has appeared in Mike Leigh’s Oscar-winning film Topsy Turvy and most recently as Foster Jenkins in Florence Foster Jenkins. He is a renowned solo cabaret performer, who has performed acclaimed seasons at Crazy Coqs, The Pheasantry, Pizza on the Park, King’s Head and Jermyn St. Theatre in London. Acting roles include a year-long run opposite Gene Wilder in Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Queen’s Theatre), Semi-Monde (Lyric), The Games of Love and Chance (National Theatre), The LA Plays (Almeida), Five O’Clock Angel (Hampstead and King’s Head), The Killing Of Mr Toad, The Grand Duke (Finborough), Noel Coward’s Christmas Spirits (St. James Theatre) and The Importance of Being Earnest (Riverside Studios). His films include Friends Pictured Within, Composed, Sea-Change and Topsy-Turvy.

 

Claire-Marie Hall plays ‘the Woman’. She studied at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Theatre includes Between Empires (Symposium Hall, Edinburgh), The King and I (Curve Theatre and National Tour), Aladdin (New Wimbledon Theatre and Hackney Empire), High School Musical (Hammersmith Apollo and National Tour) and Les Miserables (Queen’s Theatre, West End).

 

Dale Rapley plays Lucio. He trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Theatre credits include Aladdin (Lyric Hammersmith), Richard III (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Women on the Verge of A Nervous Breakdown (West End), Wicked (UK tour), Larisa & The Merchants (Arcola), Hello Dolly! & Piaf (Curve, Leicester), Dangerous Lady (Theatre Royal Stratford East), The Lady in The Van (Hull Truck), The Tempest & King Lear (Actors From The London Stage, US), The Merchant of Venice & Holding Fire (Shakespeare’s Globe), Heartbreak House (Palace, Watford), A Model Girl (Greenwich Theatre), Professor Bernhardi (Arcola), Mamma Mia! (Prince Edward & tour), A Midsummer Night’s Dream, High Society (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (RSC), Six Characters Looking for an Author (Young Vic), Eden End & Arms and the Man (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Private Lives, Virtual Reality, A Word from our Sponsor, Dreams from a Summer House, Rocket to the Moon (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Lady into Fox (Lyric Hammersmith). Forthcoming productions include the UK tour of The Addams Family.

 

Simon Willmont plays Geoffrey. He trained at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA). Theatre credits include Mamma Mia! (International tour), Shady Business (UK tour), Beauty & the Beast (Engine House, Barnsley Civic), Blood Brothers (Phoenix Theatre, London & National Tours),The Hired Man, Cinderella, Stories for Christmas (Theatre by the Lake, Keswick), Jack & the Beanstalk (Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham), Everybody Loves Jason  (Leicester Square Theatre), Rumpelstiltskin, Love & Other Ambiguities (Greenwich Theatre & Brighton Festival), The Adventures of Robin Hood (Gardner Arts Centre, Brighton), Girls Night Out  (UK tour), Fabula Urbis (Greenwich Theatre) and Never Saw The Day (UK tour).

 

Based on Marie Corelli’s 1895 controversial bestseller, this new musical play reimagines the story of Faust in the heart of a corrupt 1920s London, where the elite are financially and emotionally bankrupt and one man has a big decision to make.

Pretentiously avant-garde musical playwright Geoffrey Tempest has been kicked out of his accommodations with not a penny to his name. He has one chance to prove himself to the theatrical community: a rehearsed reading of his musical play, The Sorrows of Satan. When his patron, the prodigal Prince Lucio Rimânez, suggests some significant changes, Geoffrey must decide whether to hold on to his artistic integrity (for what it’s worth) or sell out for the promise of fame, money and the love of his leading lady.

The Sorrows of Satan is written by Luke Bateman (Mr Popper’s Penguins) and Michael Conley and directed by Kevin Spacey Artist of Choice Award winner Adam Lenson (Songs for a New World, St. James Theatre). Casting and further creative details are to be announced.

 


Listing

THE SORROWS OF SATAN

Tuesday 14 February – Saturday 25 March 2017

 

 

1A Tower Street, Covent Garden, WC2H 9NP.

Running time TBC – Age guidance 12+

 

Tickets: £20 (£18) All previews £14

Box Office 020 3841 6611

Book online

 

www.TristanBatesTheatre.co.uk

 


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