Artist Director Paul Miller directeds this run of The Lottery of love and it definitely seems a lucky dip of highs and lows.
The set is beautifully simple including nothing but hanging flowers and lanterns in the middle, unfortunately I feel everything else is rather over done. Keir Charles, plays the hilarious John Brass and Claire Iams plays sweet Louisa. Their chemistry is so much fun to watch and I feel myself wishing for them to come on stage during other scenes. They make my tummy hurt laughing! Unfortunately, I find Dorothea Myer-Bennett, who plays Sylvia, to become rather irritating through the ninety-minute performance. She starts strong but her plea’s and crying soon become expected and annoying.
Ashley Zhangazha who plays Richard gives his character a loveable likeness to Prince Charming but unfortunately it becomes overdone and too much. I sit afterwards wondering what I don’t like from the performance and could list several brilliant things about each actor despite their weaker points but still feel underwhelmed by the whole thing. I think it really comes down to the writing. Although it is one of the funniest classical play’s I’ve seen, I also feel I have seen it so many times before. Nothing feels new and vibrant unfortunately. I completely understand Paul Miller’s decision to alternate between hard hitting contemporary theatre and more classical piece’s as the Orange Tree Theatre has a very diverse audience but I feel this is a lack lustrous choice.
I know I’m being really harsh, and honestly it really isn’t as bad as that probably all sounds. I think I just expect more. I have loved everything that I’ve seen at The Orange Tree and have never felt underwhelmed or had a lack of feeling towards something I’ve seen there, like I did with this. Would I recommend this play? Well… No, not if you’re a young twenty to thirty something theatre goer wanting something to challenge you or make you think or talk about life right now. BUT, yes if you just want a nice easy evening out to the theatre or something to take your mum and dad to. All the actors seem very experienced and deal with audience participation well. They all have great comic timing and deserve the big round of applause they get at the end. It just isn’t for me unfortunately. 2.5/5
Review written by Alicia Mooney.
The Lottery of Love is currently showing at the Orange Tree Theatre until Saturday 13th May. For more information on the production, visit here…