Mrs Warren’s Profession
From the 14th of February until the 6th of April, the Sydney Theatre Company presents ‘Mrs Warren’s Profession’ as part of their 2013 season, a season that has been so successful, the company has announced an extension to the program with ‘Mrs Warren’s Profession’ now showing from the 4th to the 20th of July. I walked in as a fan of George Bernard Shaw and was not at all disappointed by this production at the wharf. Keeping with the integrity of the play the focus remained on the heavy dialogue, laden with social commentary, witticisms and explorations of capitalist values. As with any period play, audience contentration is paramount and the actors really kept the performance alive.
They mis en scene was simple, effective and perfect, for example, a set of books, a hammock and a backdrop of pink roses. This stunning beauty was illuminated by subtle lighting and contrasted as a wonderful juxtaposition to the second act. Everything on stage was used and had relevance and is a credit to the production team. The play is directed by Sarah Giles and supported by a stellar cast of notable faces, such as Simon Burke, Helen Thomson, Drew Forsythe and newcomer Lizzie Schebesca. I believe it was the calibre of performance that kept me glued to the tale, as each carried their own power and stage presence, drawing emotional connection to a story of old.
It was perhaps a bit of a risk to perform an piece with social commentary about a context that is not ours, one from 1893 to be exact. However, through the minimalist nature of the stageing, costuming and continuity, the focus lay with the universal themes, for example, if one does no exploitation, yet by extension witnesses it, are they too at fault? Once the universal subtexts were highlighted and drawn out, the period play had great relevance to our audience. However, if you perchance just want to witness the humour of a great playwright and the directing from a great theatre company, I strongly recommend a night at this play. I just hope that audiences keep their minds open to deliberating a subtext, for if they do, they will surely milk more for their money.
For more information, please visit http://www.sydneytheatre.com.au/what’s-on/productions/2013/mrs-warrens-profession.aspx