The Rivals

adapted by Beth Flintoff
Watermill Theatre, 2018

'Beth Flintoff’s adaptation begins with Julia (Charlotte Bate) delivering a rhyming introduction poking fun at the political parallels between Sheridan’s era and today. It ends with the same, only this time Bate’s message has shifted from Brexit banter to cautionary comments on the perils of ignoring or avoiding love... James Cotterill’s set design make neat use of the small stage, letting successive silk curtains descend flounce-upon-flounce until there are as many layers of candy-coloured material onstage as marital plotting. Julia’s dress has the hue of a sucked-on humbug and Lydia, with marginally Marge Simpson hair, is prettily dressed in mint and cream. But by emphasising its sugar-sweetness, Humphreys identifies an underlying message of Sheridan’s play: that we should all just hurry up and get on with loving one another.'
The Stage ****

'The Watermill’s adaptation wrings every ounce of delight out of the original text — with an absolutely stellar cast'
Henley Standard

'A feast of high-blown cod grandiloquence is delivered with crisp authority'
The Spy in the Stalls *****

'First rate entertainment...superbly done'
Peter Viney's blog ****

Cast: Daniel Abelson, Charlotte Bate, Emma Denly, Ncuti Gatwa, Christopher Logan, James Mack, Julia St John, Michael Thomas

Design: James Cotterill
Lighting: Katharine Williams
Music: Simon Slater
Movement: Simon Pittman