Review: Measure for Measure at The Spring, Havant

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Ah. Measure for Measure. A play full of magnificent language, human dilemmas, earthy humour and a whacking great problem.

That ending’s a stinker.

Why does the duke remain disguised for so long, prolonging the heroine’s suffering, whom he then, effectively, publicly makes a fool of? And then proposes marriage!

The play could be 10 minutes shorter if he’d only un-mask when any normal person would.

Jacquie Penrose for The Bench gives Daisy Dawes as Isabella a clear ‘What-Choice-Do-I-Have?’ exit – and rightly so in response to Megan Green’s frankly lecherous duke.

Hang on. Megan Green as the duke?

Oh, yes. The Bench are doing what they do so well and taking risks, being creative, because Penrose has opted for an all-female cast. There’s good – and clever – double-casting, too. Jane Swindells as Angelo (the baddie) and Claudio (the goodie) works very nicely.

A few of the cast feel the need to illustrate with unnecessary gesture – let Bill’s language do more of the work for you – and there’s a good deal of speaking to the audience rather than the other actors on stage but – you know what? I’ll live with that just to celebrate the risks this company take.

Bravo.

Also on from Wednesday until Saturday.

JAMES GEORGE