The Amorous Adventures of Anatol

Mike Shara plays the field as a 19th century ladies' man in Morris Panych's The Amorous Adventures of Anatol

Written by Arthur Schnitzler
Adapted and directed by Morris Panych



Mike Shara, Adam Paolozza, Nicole Underhay and Robert Persichini. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

At the turn of the 20th century, Vienna was the centre of Art Nouveau, a cultural hub where passion and romance abounded. Out of this colourful environment came Austrian playwright Arthur Schnitzler’s Anatol, written in 1893, which follows the misadventures of a handsome Viennese womanizer. Schnitzler’s Anatol, adapted by director Morris Panych into The Amorous Adventures of Anatol, now on stage at Tarragon Theatre, is a beautifully costumed, highly comedic look at one man’s romantic trials and tribulations.

When the audience meets the charismatic Anatol (Mike Shara) in "Episode One" of the production, he is deep in conversation with his psychologist friend Max (Robert Persichini) about his current love interest, Hilda. Dressed in formal waistcoats with tails, the two men discuss Anatol’s insecurities about Hilda’s fidelity and Max suggests using hypnosis as a way of finding out if she has been faithful. Nicole Underhay, who plays not only Hilda, but all seven of Anatol’s women, sits hypnotized while Anatol attempts to ask her about her fidelity, but ultimately loses his nerve. Anatol’s neurosis in this first scene is merely a preview of what is come in the next 90 minutes of the production.

The Amorous Adventures of Anatol is organized into seven episodes, each introduced as titles lit up in cursive on the wall, with a painted portrait of a woman and their name. Hilda is the only woman to appear in two different episodes, and in the second one she meets Anatol on the street on Christmas Eve and helps him pick out a gift for his current love interest, Gabriele. In Episode Three, Anatol and Max sift through Anatol’s old love letters and much is revealed about the young Casanova through these letters, concluding with the introduction of Bianca. After Bianca, the audience meets Emily (who is, according to Anatol, still keeping secrets from him about her past), Mimi (who, in a hilarious, alcohol-fueled scene breaks up with Anatol before he can break up with her), Elsa (who loves Anatol but cannot leave her husband), and finally Liona (who, in the final, chaotic scene of the production, comes to a comforting realization).

Award-winning costume designer Charlotte Dean truly brings turn-of-the-century Vienna alive with the exquisite costumes and wigs worn by the talented Underhay in her role as seven different women. Shara’s Anatol, self-described as “incredibly handsome” is a hopeless romantic who seems to always get it wrong, which elicits sympathy from the audience who watches him fall for the same woman (literally) over and over again. Unfortunately, not enough time is spent developing the individual female characters in the play, which occasionally leaves the viewer feeling lost and confused during the production.

The Amorous Adventures of Anatol runs until February 10th at Tarragon Theatre. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Tue, 2013-01-01 - Sun, 2013-02-10
Our rating:



Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.