In our blasé age, we may take for granted that a remote Yorkshire parsonage managed to produce three sisters who defied rigid Victorian convention to give voice to raw passions and sexual frustration no respectable woman was meant to feel.
What do you do when life gives you lemons? Make lemonade is the wrong answer, says Elf Lyons, who is the product – and that’s not too economic a term – of father Gerard Lyons, former economic advisor to Boris Johnson, artist mother Annette Lyons and the Philippe Gaulier clown school on the outskirts of Paris.
This is Shakespeare light. Very light. Antic Disposition’s presentation of Shakespeare’s 1598 comedy is aimed at touring in South West France during the summer months when Paris empties and the French take to the countryside.
The London theatre scene could easily manage without another musical about love. But the UK premiere of this Australian-born celebration of the greatest of emotions by Peter Rutherford and James Millar is nevertheless as welcome, even as necessary, as every generation’s attempts to redefine love for themselves.
As far as 1960s audiences were concerned, Lionel Bart – famed for the musical Oliver – had lost his “twang” when he came up with the box office flop “Twang!!”, with two exclamation marks. But if the audiences of the swinging sixties weren’t ready, the 21st century theatre-goers of London’s Union Theatre – renowned for alternative, low-budget, high-entertainment musicals – are.