The delusion of lust is a fascinating thing, convinced you’re in the throws of love – yet not, it can be an earth shattering experience when this all very quickly unravels. Love on the other hand brings with it its own chaotic complications, yet brings with it a beauty also. An exploration of the tangential nature of love and lust Terence Rattigan‘s When the Sun Shines receives a revival at the Orange Tree Theatre.
A laugh a minute production, we follow the goings on of the Earl of Harpenden (Philip Labey) and his engagement to Lady Elisabeth Randall (Rebecca Collingwood). A seemingly straight forward arrangement, mistress Mabel Crum (Sophie Khan Levy) shakes up the engagement with her ongoing affair with the Earl. Throw in a case of mistaken identity by Lieutenant Mulvaney (Conor Glean) who captures Lady Elisabeth’s imagination, refocusing the recipient of her affection and Lieutenant Colbert’s (Jordan Misfúd) defiant declarations of love towards Lady Elisabeth, we watch an already dramatic evening intensify further!
Paul Miller’s production honours Rattigan’s quick witted charm, the evening a gradual build up of confusion and miscommunication playing into the show’s hilarity. We’re offered an although intense, jovial contrast to the otherwise destructive nature of WWII happening around them, designer Simon Daw realising Lord Harpenden’s intimate quarters with an antiquated rug adorning the space, and a quaint dinner table and sofa contributing an although minimal, air of luxury and sophistication. Labey’s free spirited Earl of Harpenden, Glean’s brash Lieutenant Mulvaney, Collingwood’s naive Lady Elisabeth, Michael Lumsden’s colourful Duke of Ayr & Stirling, Mifsúd’s hopelessly in love Lieutenant Colbert, Khan Levy’s flirtatious Mabel Crum and Hudson’s loyal Horton all bring with them their own opulent flair, yet work wonderfully together to illuminate this world of the elite. A test of love and what it genuinely means, When the Sun Shines is a playful observation on this, at the most challenging of times.
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
While the Sun Shines is showing until Saturday 8th January 2022 at the Orange Tree Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…