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The Play's The Thing

Soulpepper revisits successful production of P.G. Wodehouse's theatrical in-joke

Presented by Soulpepper Theatre Company
Written by Ferenc Molnar
Adapted by P.G. Wodehouse
Directed by Lazlo Marton

Gordon Hecht, Diego Matamoros, Raquel Duffy & C. David Johnson. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

Art imitates life, or rather art imitates art, in P.G. Wodehouse's delightful adaptation of Hungarian dramatist Ferenec Molnár's The Play's The Thing, now on stage as part of Soulpepper's fall lineup. The new production is a freshly funny take on a Soulpepper favourite (it was first staged in 1999 and again in 2003), with Lazlo Marton returning to direct Diego Matamoros as the witty playwright Sandor Turai.

In The Play's The Thing, Turai (Matamoros) and his collaborator Mansky (William Webster) bring a young composer, Albert Adam (Gordon Hecht), on a surprise visit to a castle on the Italian Riviera with their prima donna, Ilona Szabo (Raquel Duffy), Albert's fiance. Drama ensues when Albert overhears Ilona flirting in her chamber with the married actor Almady (C. David Johnson). To remedy the situation, Turai stays up all night fabricating a script which includes the overheard dialogue, and the next day forces Ilona and Almady to perform the piece in public so the broken-hearted Albert will believe they were simply rehearsing for a play the night before.

Elegantly staged and thoughtfully performed, Lazlo's production is a pleasure to watch from start to finish. Matamoros brings his A-game to the part of the self-aggranding Turai, while Webster perfectly compliments as Turai's goodhearted pessimist collaborator Mansky. Other highlights include Oliver Dennis's turn as the chatty butler Dwornitscheck, Gregory Prest as the frantic secretary Mel, and the rehearsal scene in which Johnson's Almady is forced to recite a number of long-winded French titles and place names for his part in Turai's fake play passed off as a work by the French playwright Sardou.

The Play's The Thing is a classic comedic send-up of acting and theatre-making that continues to be as much on-target as it is entertaining. Catch it until October 14 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Sat, 2015-09-12 - Wed, 2015-10-14
Our rating:


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