Directing/Producing / Reviews / The Philosopher's Tale [2013]

The Philosopher’s Tale (****) [published on]


The Philosopher’s Tale is the latest from playwright Fauzia Rahman and directed by award nominated Chris Hislop, a light-hearted, slow burner about moral grounds and boundaries. There’s a sentimental challenge at the heart of the play – a question of paternity, with most unexpected confusion and consequences.

The play begins with two men in the back garden – Thomas Ruse and Gerald Angel who are old friends having afternoon tea. During their conversation, Gerald confessions to a surprising and awkward incident that’s occurred. He discovered a young woman asleep in his bed one morning. This in turn creates a problem that has occurred unexpectedly.

Gerald has no idea how this uninvited stranger arrived in in his bed. Gerald gets more than he bargained when he wakes up that morning. This part is well performed by Anthony Curran with a noticeable vocal tone – expressive and very emotional as a shocked friend and loyal husband. The dialogue between Thomas Ruse and Gerald is warming. Clive Greenwood playing Thomas Ruse does justice as the supportive friend with good listening. But Thomas Ruse is also wrapped in the drama with his own revelation about the sleeping mystery woman named Annabel.

There are dramatic moments led by the main characters in the play who are wise and strong in carrying the script successfully. The play includes a good stairway scenario which adds emphasis to the stage presence. In this play there are secrets, and unexpected formalities of scandal and intriguing disagreements pry on the instincts of Molly Angel wonderfully played by Caroline Langston. In some moments relating to her young son’s love life Henry Angel played by Ed Williams, Molly Angel has her suspicisions of her husband’s unusual behaviour when Annabel played by Natasha Staples is in their company.

In the final scenario there is anger and confusion between all characters enquiring about the root of problem and how the argument came to be. The actors voices demonstrate a huge infusion of tension and accusation at each other until a resolution is evident of each other’s mistaken incorruptibility of Annabel’s paternity. In the beginning to the end its evident that the truth comes to light. This play is worthwhile to watch because of the actors, but it takes a while to digest. Good lighting and use of the stage.


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