Margot Devlin, the very proper Stage Manager of A Woman of No Importance, is convinced that everyone connected with this play is sex-mad – most particularly director Paul Hardy.
Here are some excerpts from her rehearsal notes of Dec 6:
– “worn to shadows” (Lady Hunstanton [Andy Fraser] uses this phrase to Mrs. Allonby [Paula Schultz] – they are talking about husbands and the Ideal Man) – Paul is suggesting that this may be a sexual joke (good grief – does it never end?)
– “…but you do renew him from time to time” (Lady Caroline [Gillian English] to Mrs. Allonby) – Paul has asked yet again: “Is this a sexual reference?” (I am beginning to think that I read a different play)
– Amy pointed out that it is gray sweater day – picture attached was taken by ASM Neena Ahmad: The Ladies Strike a Pose (Gillian English [Lady Caroline Pontefract], Paula Schultz [Mrs. Allonby], Amy Zuch [Lady Stutfield]).
– Nicholas [Porteous, playing Illingworth’s would-be protégé Gerald] arrived “shorn” of hair, said Andrew [Batten, playing the cad Lord Illingworth].
– Hester [the young American Puritan, played by Sophia Fabiilli] is putting on suntan lotion in Act 1, Scene 1. Mike [Vitorovich, as Lady Caroline’s henpecked husband Sir John Pontefract] suggested we should get a bottle of sun cream and label it Pur-i-Tan.
Margot’s actual note for the suntan lotion scene reads: Hester is putting on suntan lotion in a Puritan manner – Caroline and John are staring at her. Hmmm –what does a “Puritan manner” of applying suntan lotion look like? Regular readers of this blog may recognize the name Mike Vitorovich – he played the manic opera enthusiast Roy in last season’s Così, and was previously directed by Paul Hardy in Daniel MacIvor’s You Are Here (Alumnae, Theatre, September 2010). “Pur-i-Tan” – ha!
And because Paul is modernizing the setting of the play to the 1980’s, there’s a note to Props that Hester will require a Walkman…