Restoration comedy the modern way

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I BET you thought Restoration comedy was all 17th century costumes and curly wigs, didn’t you? I did too – and then I went to the Crucible to see The Way of the World.

Not only is the furniture and music as modern as it comes, and the costumes straight off the fashion show catwalk before they get toned down for the high street; there’s also a pop video element complete with film paraphernalia right there on stage.

I suspect it’s all a metaphor, designed to point out that the play is just as relevant now as it was 300 years ago. Which is probably true. But the result is a rather bizarre and over-the-top piece of theatre which requires a bigger effort than usual to suspend disbelief and go with the flow.

It’s great fun all the same. Everyone wants to get one over on ageing beauty Lady Wishfort (a gloriously flamboyant performance from Deborah Findlay), which is fine because she’s no more likeable than anyone else, and it all turns out right in the end.

It runs until February 25.