Another Sell Out Show, how do we do it?
It’s the little lies that get you into trouble. ‘The Magistrate’ is a farce about a magistrate, a rather respectable magistrate by the name of Posket. His new wife tells a small lie about her age and what follows is a series of scandalous events that’s almost cause his disgrace. Originally written in 1885, it needed a little updating but director Timothy Sheader and cast have pulled of a near master piece.
Funds are tight so I saw ‘The Magistrate’ at my local cinema. This was the first time I’d seen a NT Live production live and it was good. It’s clear a lot of time and effort has gone into the recording, we get a sneaky interview before the performance and we get views that are never normally seen by an audience. In farce, the comedy is found in the reactions and if you can’t see the reactions, you don’t have much of a comedy.
The plot is spun out of control by Posket’s, John Lithgow, son-in-law Cis Farringdon, played by Joshua McGuire. Cis’ actions are … mature for someone of the age of fourteen. But, he’s not fourteen, his developed taste for smoking, gambling, port and women are appropriate for someone of his age. Unfortunately, he drags his father in law and everyone else around him into a crashing heap of chaos.
The recipe of this play is smart and safe. A big enough star and talent that is John Lithgow, a long forgotten script that still resonates today, a little bit of song and dance and a set worthy of the Olivier stage, you are going to please the National Theatre Crowd. The National is still offering an alternative from the West End Jukebox Musicals, but it’s all the same.