Reveiwed by Kerry Cooper
Playwright George Bernard Shaw was consistent with his narrative of the British class system and was a supporter of women’s emancipation from the constraints of such a system. Misalliance puts society under the microscope and focuses on two families. His deconstruction of the norms is played out as he puts nine very different personalities on stage to test his theories. Director Brian Knott has assembled for the most part a strong cast. His direction was solid and needed to be to keep audiences invested in what is a very wordy play (talk, talk, talk).
All of the action takes place in the conservatory of the Tarletons. The set design by Alex Strickland is pleasing to the eye and costumes were fitting of the time period. Act one is slow but sets the characters differences up perfectly for the conflict of Act two.
Petulant Hypatia, played by Anna Bee is consistent and delivers her lines with the small amount of naughtiness required. Her brother Johnny Tarleton, is brought to life by Mark Drury, his struggles with his place in the family is evident throughout. Bentley Summerhays, played by Simon Lancione is self-centred in his hysterics and is borderline over the top, but brings energy to the play that is required. Experienced Lindsay Dunn and Julie Quick are perfectly cast as Mr and Mrs Tarleton. Self-educated Tarleton is amusing with his literary references. Lina and Joey Percival played respectively by Leah Craig and Adam Tuominen are welcomed additions to an otherwise underwhelming plot