Volume 92, Issue 39

Thursday, November 12, 1998

not too late to reconsider football too


Audience big winners with She Ventures

Dipesh Mistry/Gazette

By Sarah Kyle
Gazette Staff

From the prologue of Ariadne's 17th century play, She Ventures and He Wins, the audience is presented with what the character Charlotte terms as a "woman's treat."

Through Charlotte's plot to snare a husband who desires her over her fortune, the audience is invited into the intrigues of the 17th century English court. This comedy was also offered as an exemplary tale, which upholds the virtues of the current English society. The play admonishes the adulterous character of the Squire Would-be, while exalting the virtuous wife Urania – all with a comic perspective which lightens the "moral lecture" air of the play.

Perhaps to diminish the morality of the plot, are the extreme trials with which Charlotte sets out to test her husband, Lovewell. Charlotte, after choosing her husband to be decides to make absolutely sure that he is as enraptured with her as she is with him. Possessing a great fortune, Charlotte believes Lovewell could just want her money. Charlotte's tests, interspersed with Urania's revenges upon Squire Would-be, lead the play through its twists and turns to its ultimately and typically happy ending.

Do not be surprised by the occasional burst of song and dance, as the comedies of the 17th century often included the conventions of dancing and singing. The aristocrats of the period, apart from viewing plays, often occupied their evenings with song and dance. In the play, the transitions between the dialogue and these musical conventions are executed with ease.

The play is outfitted with a strong cast. Urania is played by Susan McDonald and Rachel Jones portrays Charlotte. Together, they lead the play from its beginnings. As leading females, their roles are comic, witty and highly believable. Perhaps the dominating roles of these women are as they should be in a play where it "'tis a Lady hopes to please."

Their male counterparts also act well, but do not outshine their respective ladies. However, as Lovewell says at the closing of the play, "We Beaux can ne'er be critics on the fair" and on a whole the actors cast their spell commendably and certainly hold the audience captive until the last minute.

The department of English and Fanshawe College's Theatre Arts have produced a delightful comedy. Director Richard Green and his cast offer up the delicacy of 17th century comedy which transcends its era and still appeals to the modern audience.

She Ventures and He Wins is playing at Talbot Theatre until Nov. 14. Tickets are available at the InfoSource and at the door.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazette.entertainment@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998