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Review: The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, at Acton Community Theatre

27 October, 2017 — By Clive Gehle

WRITTEN in 1910, Bernard Shaw’s The Dark Lady of the Sonnets predates Blackadder II and the Ben Elton sitcom Upstart Crow by some 100 years, but it has much in common, using historical characters to comment on current events, in this case the need for the UK to have a national theatre, something for which it had to wait another 60 years.

Dominic Currie gives an excellent rendering of the Blackadder-like scheming Shakespeare, notebook in hand, always ready to steal a good phrase, such as “frailty thy name is woman”. As said by the palace guard, Mark Shaer gives a great performance as a character familiar to anyone who has ever dealt with a bored security guard.

The mysterious eponymous Dark Lady is given a feisty energy by Elpida Stathatou, and the direction by Jack O’Connor is unfussy and keeps the action flowing.

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