Finally caught up with Alisa Palmer 's smart, engaging production of Diana Of Dobson's , Cicely Hamilton' s 1908 piece about an outspoken London shopgirl who inherits some money and - briefly - moves up into a higher socio-economic niche in the guise of a young widow. There's lots to admire in the show, notably Severn Thompson 's strength in the title role and the performances of Goldie Semple as an elegant, smiling but snobbish upper-class woman trying to play matchmaker between her nephew and the mysterious widow, and Peter Hutt as a hard-willed factory owner with his own mating plans.
Wish the feminist aspect of the first act were explored more fully in the play, though the class confrontations - especially between Thompson and Evan Buliung as the nephew - make for crackling theatre. And maybe the fairy-tale quality of the last act was what the audiences of the time expected.
Worth a visit to the Shaw Festival, where the show runs until October 4. See listings for details.
Wish a local company had a co-pro arrangement with the Sudbury Theatre Centre for its opening show, The Game Of Love And Chance . Pleaides Theatre presented the Marivaux script a few years ago with Amy Price-Francis , Graeme Somerville and Alex Poch-Goldin , but we wouldn't mind also seeing the Sudbury cast, which includes Irene Poole , Geoffrey Pounsett and Adrian Griffin . They're good local actors who should be working more in their hometown.
Look for Poole in Michael Melski 's Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad at Factory next month.