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Sydney review - Gossip, ambition and greed

A hedonistic society consumed by gossip, ambition, and greed forms the backdrop for The School for Scandal, a comedy of manners.

Two brothers, one an amiable rake, the other a sanctimonious cad, are tested by their wealthy uncle to determine which is the more trustworthy; and a crusty old fool-in-love tries to tame his feisty, much-younger wife.

Amidst the hilarity and the tangled webs of plots and subplots, lurks deception, double-dealing and backstabbing, but virtue wins out over vice in the end.

The foibles and depravity on display in this world of hypocritical scandal mongering are all too recognisable, making Sheridan’s satirical morality timeless.

New Theatre is presenting a contemporary vision of an 18th century classic. Director will be David Burrowes, a recent graduate of NIDA’s Master of Fine Arts (Directing), as he brings Sheridan’s satire firmly into the 21st century, ably assisted by a talented cast and creative team including production designer and fellow NIDA graduate Isabella Andronos (A Midsummer Night’s Dream - Sport for Jove).

The School for Scandal is a satire about rich people acting like children. It's about excess and hedonism, consumption and wealth, and reading the play now it's clear that despite more than 200 years having passed, nothing much has changed,” says David.

“The families who make up the play - the Surfaces and the Teazles – could as easily be the Hiltons and the Kardashians; popular, beautiful, wealthy beyond any reason and completely oblivious. The corsets and wigs may be dead and buried but the scandals of the rich and famous are not.

“This production will be a comedy going 200 km/h down a highway in a Lamborghini with a boot full of cash, wearing Armani and more jewellery than your house is worth,” says David. “This is a show about extravagance, and we're doing it big.”

Director David Burrowes, Production Designer Isabella Andronos, Sound Designer Ryan Devlin, Dramaturge Michael Collins, Assistant Director John Ma, Set Assistant Mariya Tkachenko, Costume Assistant Kate Campbell, Stage Manager Bronte Axam, ASM Keziah Knight.

Cast: Tel Benjamin, Richard Cotter, Sasha Dyer, Peter Flett, Emma Harvie, Rhys Keir, Chantel Leseberg, Moreblessing Maturure, Cecilia Morrow, Marty O’Neill, Billie Scott, Eleanor Stankiewicz, Samantha Ward, Jacob Warner, Madeleine Withington

Season: 28 April – 30 May at New Theatre, 542 King Street Newtown. Ticket prices $17 - $32, bookings: NEWTHEATRE.ORG.AU (no booking fee)

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