All I Need Is Lurve!
When it was first serialized in La Revue de Paris in 1856, Gustave Flaubert’s scandalous masterpiece was attacked for obscenity by public prosecutors. Flaubert was acquitted, but the trial made Madame Bovary a notorious bestseller, now considered a seminal work of realism and one of the most influential novels ever written.
Emma Bovary is caught in a sterile marriage to an uninspiring doctor, who doesn’t seem to notice her any more (or enough) leaving her bored, unsatisfied, and dreaming of love and romance. A path of liasons dangereuse leads her at times to periods of intense happiness and of agony, as one passionate affair leads to shocking rejection, and another to depths of sadness, as she realises the life she yearns for cannot be sustained.
Alys Daroy, in the title role, delivers a performance of pellucid beauty, matching her own. Miraculously drawing one into her innermost desires and vulnerability, this intricate, intimate, magnetic portrayal is a revelation, and lives on in the memory. She even draws laughter as the humour, born of the anomalies of Bovary’s own personality, pours from Miss Daroy’s insight into the role.
In this incarnation, hinting at the erotic, but fully romantic, adaptor and co-director, with Chris Diacopoulos, Victor Sobchak brings a sweeping style, personality and power, sometimes simmering, sometimes breakneck, to the story, in a most winning production. He has drawn performances of real quality and nuance form his entire cast, most notably from William Raphael, brilliant in a complex and dimensional characterisation as L’Heureux, the trader and reluctant financier, and from Charlie Tantam as Justin, the poor, smitten slave to M Bovary, his heroine.
With this production, Theatre Collection continues to stake its claim to offering some of the best theatre on London’s fringe.
Theare Collection at The Lord Stanley
51, Camden Park Rd, London, NW1 9BH