Prepare to be delighted by the vast imagination and illustrious eloquence of Lettice Douffet (Alexandra Hines), an eccentric tour guide who, with a flare, zest for life, and a deep aversion to the dull and defeated, will elevate your sensibilities in the Borelians’ production of Peter Shaffer’s Lettice and Lovage, now on stage at 1873 Town Hall, Port Perry. This production will leave you yearning for more.
Our relationship with Lettice Douffet begins outside Fustian House, a dreary sixteenth century hall in Britain, where she barely escapes rendering her tourists tearful with boredom. Yet her artistic genius begins to ascend with budding historic embellishments that leave each new tour delighted with the wanderlusted thoroughly entertained. Her theatrical style and prose do come at a cost when the Preservation Trust’s Lottie Shoen (Amy Caughlin), confronts Miss Douffet’s fanciful style as a direct assault on historic fact. Miss Shoen accuses Miss Douffet of being a ‘paid fantasist’.
This brilliant piece by Peter Shaffer takes us through three acts of well poised conversation about life, history, architecture and theatre. If you love the art of the spoken word, a real flare for written conversation, and deeply colourful dialogue, the Borelians have given you your cup of tea.
Originally written for famed actress Maggie Smith, Lettice will leave you questioning and protesting the mundane. Brilliantly played by Alexandra Hines, her Lettice oozes with character and style with an interpretation that probably would have impressed Mr. Shaffer. Ms. Hines certainly carries such a weighty role with ease and simplicity that allows you to immerse yourself in her eccentricity and personality. Amy Caughlin as Lottie Shoen and Lettice’s lawyer Mr. Bardolph (a fantastic performance by Howard Linscott) are so well played which allowed the audience to be invited into the web woven by protagonist, Lettice.
The Borelians have launched their 2017/2018 season with a cleverly chosen witty piece which has been well cast and well staged. The set certainly speaks of the eccentricity of Miss Douffet and her grand love of England, history and theatrical leanings. A well-defined set such as this one truly digs deeper into the heart of the character while accentuating the allure of her flamboyant personality.
Director Joanne Norman has used her seasoned knowledge of stage, lighting and performance to illuminate such a creative piece that will delight and entertain. What she has demonstrated here, and rather well, is the nature of the story – Lettice will leave you questioning your own mundanity. Through this questioning, each of us is asked to drench our own reality with colour and hue even at the cost of authenticity.
Lettice and Lovage continues October 14, 19, 20 and 21 at 8 pm with 2 pm matinees October 14 and 21 at Town Hall 1873, Port Perry. Tickets may be purchased at the door before each performance or visit their website to purchase tickets on line. To learn more about the Borelians, visit their website.
Produced by Kyle Brough and Helen Coughlin, Staged Managed by Brenda DeJong and Directed by Joanne Norman.