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The Marriage of Figaro (Edinburgh)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Perhaps best known as Mozart’s comic opera, The Marriage of Figaro was originally a 1778 comedy play by the French playwright, Beaumarchais. Now adapted by Scottish playwright D.C. Jackson and directed by Mark Thomson, this production presents gender politics with a side of laughter, revenge and song.

Taking place over the course of one extraordinary day, The Marriage of Figaro follows the eponymous hero (Mark Pendergast) and his fiancée Suzanne (Nicola Roy) as they prepare for their company to be bought over before they get married that evening. But the course of business, like love, is never smooth, and a number of distractions such as The Chief’s (Stuart Bowman)infatuation with Suzanne and The Chair’s (Briony McRoberts)plots to uncover his infidelity threaten to destroy the takeover, and their relationship.

Transforming one of Beamarchais’ best known plays and adapting it for a modern audience is a difficult task in itself, but Jackson’s The Marriage of Figaro manages that, whilst maintaining the tension and comedy of the original. Featuring themes of business, the economy, office politics, unrequited love and betrayal, this production is a feast for the senses.

But what really gives this show its bite is its overarching theme of sex, gender and relationships, as Jackson portrays modern attitudes to women in positions of power with understanding and clarity. While a theatrical battle of the sexes has been done before, Jackson’s script is almost poetic in its depiction of women as the stronger sex, and men as the weaker in matters of the heart, and the loins.

Under Thomson’s direction, a strong and united cast on Alex Lowde’s resourceful set perfectly create an eerily accurate snapshot of modern Scotland, and delve into the relationship between business, politics and the economy that seems all too fitting for this era.


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