THE SCHOOL FOR SCAN­DAL

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - THEATRE LISTINGS - Gerry Col­gan

Abbey Theatre, Dublin Un­til Jan 27 8pm ¤30-¤12 Sats 2.30pm 01-8787222 There’s no blot­ting it out; the English theatre owes a lot to Dublin writ­ers. Dorset Street alone pro­duced two im­mor­tals, Sean O Casey and Richard Brins­ley Sheri­dan. (Both went to live and work in Eng­land, but that’s an­other story.) Sheri­dan wrote at least two clas­sic plays that en­dure for the best of rea­sons. They are the sharpest of satires with de­light­fully ex­ag­ger­ated char­ac­ters, in­ge­nious plots and truly creative lan­guage – think of Mrs Malaprop and her “nice de­range­ment of epi­taphs”. The Abbey will shine this Yule­tide with what is con­sid­ered to be Sheri­dan’s mas­ter­piece (al­though The Ri­vals is close). In The School for Scan­dal, up­per-crust so­ci­ety comes un­der a mer­ci­less cosh as greed, self-ag­gran­dis­e­ment and hypocrisy are flayed for our en­ter­tain­ment. Lady Sneer­well, Sir Ben­jamin Back­bite and the oth­ers, in­ter­preted by an ex­cel­lent act­ing team, will be put through the hoops by Jimmy Fay, in his di­rec­to­rial de­but in the Abbey.

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