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October/November 2009
'Lady Widermere's Fan' - Oscar Wilde

By emily Pearce - Friday, October 30th, 2009
(reproduced by kind permission of
the Isle of Wight County Press)

KUDOS to the Cowes Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (CAODS) for electing to perform Oscar Wilde’s sparkling comedy of manners, Lady Windermere’s Fan — a challenging play that is by no means easy to pull off.

Despite an admirable effort, under the direction of Jane Maclean, the cast did not quite manage to deliver the comic timing that is so essential to the play. The production was simply too clumsy to do justice to Wilde’s witty social commentary, a sin when you consider the play contains some of his most memorable quotes.
Having said that, there were a number of positive notes.

Kathryn Stewart turned in a solid performance as Lady Windermere, a moral puritan on the brink of social disgrace, while Christine Hillier was very good as Mrs Erlynne, the scandalous woman who holds the key to Lady Windermere’s fate.
Special praise must be reserved for Maggi Pearman-Taylor, who was excellent as the socially knowing Duchess of Berwick, and Nick Eagle, who gave a very believable performance as Mr Dumby.

The costumes and set design were also impressive.
It was a competent production but there is no doubt it lacked the sparkle and verve Wilde’s text so richly deserves.

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