For Love or Money: Review

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In his final performance at the New Vic for Northern Broadsides, Barrie Rutter directs and stars in, For Love or Money, a play based in a small Yorkshire town, during the 1920’s.

This romantic comedy has many twists, riddled with lies, scams, and secret alliances as more characters make their way into the mix. Scandalous indeed, but humorous through and through.

Adapted from the eighteenth-century play, Turncaret written by Alain René Lesage, the story follows a love triangle between widower, Rose and her two potential suitors, Arthur, the doctor’s son, and bank manager, Algy Fuller. Rose, played by Sarah-Jane Potts is the doe-eyed, financially unstable naive widow, fallen for the wrong man and entertaining the pocket of another. Her love interest, young Arthur, a suave scammer and not a stranger to the ladies, reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston. The other an older more established Mr Fuller keen for her hand in marriage.

Though it is clear everyone has their own agenda, you are left guessing till the end who will come out on top. With all the manipulation and deceit it is a wonder who is playing the game and who is making the rules.

Throughout the performance commentary from the actors breaking the forth wall engaging with the audience, lead to laughter from beginning, middle, to end. Music by Conrad Nelson gave the production a sitcom feel complementing the witty, tongue-in-cheek script.

Jessica Worrall’s minimalist set design allows the costumes to shine, bringing to life the 1920’s era with colour flapper dresses, and dashing suit and tie for the men. Each costume from the hat on their head, the buckle of their boot, perfectly emulated the fashion of the time.

Chemistry between each character interaction was undeniable, allowing the audience to attach themselves to each character.

Regardless of the lies and mischief, this production with have you tip-tapping your way out of the theatre with rhythmic jazz hands.

Northern Broadsides production of For Love or Money is at The New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme from 7-11 November 2017.

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