The acting was professional and interesting, the design was executed well to complement the lay, and the climax was easily identified. The Country Wife featured a very different stage space and seating arrangement than anything I had expected. The stage space was set up in an arena format where the actors entered through 4 doors at each corner of the stage. The arena format had both its advantages and disadvantages. I thought the way this stage space was set up involved the audience as the actors walked through and interacted with them and made the play feel like an up close and personal experience.
A disadvantage to this tage space was visibility and sightlines as I had to turn completely around to see some of the action and could only see the actors back when the action was situated in my corner of the stage. Overall I thought the actors used this stage space successfully as they spoke in each corner of the stage and tried to face at least 3 sides of the audience at all times. I was not very impressed with the bench seating they chose to use. I understand that they were trying to capture the 1600 era type theatre setting but the bench seating was very uncomfortable ithout a back rest and distracted my focus from the play.
The costume design and make up is a very important aspect of a play and helps the actors make their characters believable to the audience. The costume design in the Country Wife was phenomenal and I thought they captured the 1600’s era through costume design very efficiently. The details put into the costumes such as the velvet cloaks, long curly hair and the women’s dresses were exceptionally done and we were seated close enough to notice the small details.
I was particularly impressed ith Miss Squeamish played by Conner Christmas as they transformed him into a woman very effectively and made it convincing to the audience. The Country Wife featured various types of make up to transform the actors into their characters. enjoyed how they used bright, silly make up on the comical characters such as Mr. Sparkish to help bring a comical aspect to aid in the deliverance of his character. The Quacks red nose, cheeks and mangy clothing made the audience believe he was of lower status than the other characters.
The climax is by efinition the point of highest emotional intensity. The climax in The Country Wife was near the end of the play when Margery Pinchwife is locked in Mr. Harry Horne’s room and everyone decides to visit and they all discover her in his bedroom. Emotions are very high in this part of the play as Margerys husband, Jack Pinchwife, draws his sword and threatens to kill Horner for sleeping with his wife. Horner and the Quack then convince the rest of the characters that he is unable to fraternize with the women and they believe their lie and thus the falling action.