Box Theatre Company
The False Servant, 2nd to 5th May 2012
By Pierre Marivaux.
Review of The False Servant
2nd to 5th May 2012.
Review from the Newbury Weekly News.
Box on top of their game
The Box Theatre: The False Servant, at The Watermill, Bagnor, from Wednesday, May 2, to Saturday, May 5
The supremely witty Martin Crimp translation of Pierre Marivaux's The False Servant, performed by the illustrious Box Theatre Company, brought much laughter to a chilly May night at the Watermill.
Led by the transvestite Chevalier (Beth West), a woman dressed as a man to probe the character of Lelio, a potential suitor for her mistress (a woman worth 12,000 francs no less), it is a play of wicked belly-tickling deceit, double-crossing and in jokes with the audience.
Looking every part the modern man in a beautiful grey suit, the Chevalier's true identity is revealed to us from the very beginning by her servant, who is about to take some time away The man who he is passing on his duties to in his absence is Trivelin (Paul German) one who is constantly harking back to the days in which his family's name had more prominence - a decline which one comes to assume may be linked to his pursuit of red wine for the majority of the show. Naturally, through his pursuit of wine and the general desire to have one up on the other characters, Trivelin becomes privy to the fact that Chevalier is a woman resulting in him being in a position to bribe and trick his way to as much money - and therefore wine - as possible.
The actors laid out to the exposition marvellously and were all on the top of their games to keep the double nature of the play at its comic best. Luke Niemec produced excellent timing as Lelio, delivering classy backhanded compliments deliciously. Adelina Miller as the Countess was superb in her melodramatic flirtations, increasingly so when she started to succumb to the passes of the Chevalier who, of course we all knew, was a woman.
However, a special mention has to go to Jon Harding, playing Arlequin, Lelio's butler. Seemingly oblivious to the double-crossing nature of the rest of the cast, Arlequin was hilariously characterised as an over-sensitive and dimwitted chap, eventually giving away the Chevalier's true identity to Lelio.
Beth West did incredibly well at playing both the other characters and the audience at the same time, all the way up to the grand revelation that it was in fact her who was the woman in possession of the 12,000 francs all along and delivering the perfectly satisfying moral ending.
The Island of Slaves, 9th to 12th February 2011.
See the review in the Archive.
Sganarelle, 24th to 27th March 2010. See the review in the Archive.
The Game of Love and Chance, 28th to 31st October 2009. See the review in the Archive.
The Memory of Water, 15th to 18th October 2008. See the review in the Archive.
The Good and Faithful Servant and Alternative Accommodation, 12th to 15th March 2008. See the review in the Archive.
Dangerous Corner, 8th to 11th November 2006. See the review in the Archive.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist, 25th to 28th January 2006. See the review in the Archive.
A Streetcar Named Desire, 11th to 14th May 2005. See the review in the Archive.
Look Back in Anger, 3rd to 6th November 2004. See the review in the Archive.
Blue Remembered Hills, 26th February to 1st March 2003. See the review in the Archive.
A Doll's House, 3rd to 6th April 2002 at the Watermill. See the review in the Archive.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses, 30th May to 2nd June 2001 at New Greenham Arts. See the review in the Archive. We also did this production at HADCAF on 1st July.
Bouncers, by John Godber, 21st to 24th June 2000. A vision of 90s urban nightlife. See the reviews in the Archive.
About the company
The Box Theatre Company was formed in 1993 with one aim to bridge the gap between amateur and professional theatre in the area, by providing committed amateurs and aspiring professionals with opportunities to produce challenging drama within the framework of a professionally operated Theatre Company. We aim to produce innovative, quality theatre for the West Berkshire area. All members live locally, and are united in their desire to promote the development of local theatre and drama.
Past Box productions include:
- Fear and Misery of the Third Reich by Bertolt Brecht
- One was Nude and One Wore Tails by Dario Fo
- The Artful Widow by Goldini
- The Cherry Orchard by Chekhov
- Our Countries Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker at The Watermill Theatre
- Trumpets and Raspberries by Dario Fo
- Dancing at Lughnasa by Brian Friel
- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
- Bouncers by John Godber
- Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton
Since their previous base at the Arts Workshop, Newbury, was closed in November 1998 The Box have moved to New Greenham Arts, and have performed both Dancing at Lughnasa and The Glass Menagerie in the auditorium.
The Box Theatre Company wishes to provide opportunities for committed local people to become involved in all areas of theatre. We are always keen to recruit new members, for on or off stage roles, and invite any interested people to contact Tracey on 07766 775980.