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REVIEW: Lady Windermere's Fan, Southampton University Players, The Nuffield
LADY Windermere, a young wife and mother, allows her strict principles to lead her to the brink of social suicide.
Her only hope of social (and marital) salvation lies with the mysterious Mrs Erlynne, whose scandalous relationship with Lord Windermere prompted her fatal impulse in the first place...
Louise Jones was excellent in the title role: passionate, refined, feisty yet vulnerable, her poise, mannerisms and facial expressions were spot-on, particularly during her monologues.
Jane Beesley matched her as enigmatic Mrs Erlynne, and their scenes together were beautifully poignant. Lovely cameo characters evolved among the ensemble, including Stephen Fenerty (Lord Augustus), Adam Taussik (aristocratic Dumby), Meri Mackney (droll Duchess), Andy Burrows (Aussie Hopper) and John Burrows (Butler Parker).
The Orphelia Quartet were talented musicians, although some musical choices clashed with the tone of dialogue.
Oscar Wilde’s witty observations were rather laboured at times, but this improved in Act 2, particularly with the ‘men’s club’.