ED2014 3/5 Reviews ED2014 Theatre Reviews

The Alchemist (Oxford University Dramatic Society)

By | Published on Tuesday 5 August 2014

Ben Jonson’s classic 1610 satire is a savage skewering of the greedy and gullible. This version is an anarchic treatment by a large cast, who bring energetic life to the play’s bickering gang of conmen and their deserving victims. Admittedly they take a while to warm up: a hesitant opening is confused by unclear delivery and drowned out by music, while slapdash staging sees actors ricocheting off a rickety set cluttered with props. As the farce gathers pace, though, the performers hit their stride. Relishing the humour in the viciously witty dialogue, they inject proceedings with an infectious sense of comic mayhem. This may not be pure gold, but the company’s obvious chemistry keeps the show bubbling along nicely.

Just the Tonic at The Caves, until 24 Aug.
tw rating 3/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]