We’re going back to the 1950s in a new version of Sheridan’s classic comedy to be performed under the stars over four weekends next January.
Following a sell-out season last summer, Open Gardens SA and Blue Sky Theatre are bringing another hilarious, fast-paced comedy to gardens across SA.
In a society awash with gossip, Lady Sneerwell (Nicole Rutty) and her snake-like assistant (Miriam Keane) ruin the reputations of their rich friends simply for the fun of it. Among the targets are two brothers; Charles (Robert Bell), a loveable rogue who drinks too much, and Joseph (Lee Cook) a sanctimonious, two-faced MP. While they compete to win the heart of Maria (Ashley Penny), they’re unaware their wealthy Uncle Oliver (Adrian Barnes) and old nanny (Lindy LeCornu) are secretly testing them to determine who deserves his inheritance.
The comely Lady Teazle (Kate Van Der Horst) must fend off the slanderous barbs that have caught the ear of her elderly husband (Steve Marvanek), London’s top tittle-tattle Mrs Candour (Angela Short) and gossip columnist Benjamin Backbite (Joshua Coldwell).
Originally set in 1777, award-winning director Dave Simms is setting the story in 1955 when the idle rich were superficial yet sparkling, drinking Pimms and playing croquet on the lawn.
“The privileged classes disapproved of challenges to their way of life, such as teenagers, James Dean and Elvis Presley,” he says. “And behind the veneer of respectability, these malicious prattlers splashed fake news around town like confetti. But the truth has a way of tumbling out!”
The School for Scandal will be staged at gardens in Victor Harbor on 12, 13 and 14 January, Mount Pleasant on 20 and 21 January, Carrick Hill on 26 January (Australia Day), 27 and 28 January, and Stangate House on 2 and 3 February.
Open Gardens SA chair Vick Winnell is thrilled to be working with Blue Sky Theatre again after such a successful first season in 2017.
“It was a sell-out last year so I hope everyone books early to join us for a picnic on the lawn, an evening of intrigue and a feast for the eyes with those bold 1950s fashions,” she says.