Review: The Philanderer

Anyone fancy some philandering? The Philanderer is the 500th production presented by the Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver since it was founded back in 1964. Over 120 years later and The Philanderer is still getting laughs for it’s dry, “I’m more intelligent that you are,” English humor. For those who don’t know what it means to “philander” Wikipedia describes it “for a man to have sexual intercourse with many women.” I know it’s not really our cup of tea but you can play make believe for this one.

Without ruining it for someone who may go and see the play itself I’m going to give you the skinny. Pretty much our main guy, Charteris, is a big giant slag (an English term for slut) and wants to just philander about until he claims to have “fallen in love” with Grace. His last fling, Julia (who is totally cray-cray), doesn’t fancy this at all and turns up in Grace’s families house while Charteris is there and confronts the two.

Over-dramatics ensue with Julia claiming Charteris really is in love with her and they had just kissed the other day trying to get Grace pissed and out of the picture. While this is going on both Grace and Julia’s fathers show to more hilarious cover-ups and English banter. The play continues in this way with Charteris dancing circles around everyone so he can get what he wants, which is Julia out of the way (but still keep her close enough for some philandering) and chasing after Grace. He finally finds a way to pass Julia off on Paramore who is desperately in love with her but by this time Grace has moved on from Charteris. Insert more English wit here – “I’m better than you are and have a nicer accent” yada yada. Then we fast forward to the ending which if you want to know how it end you will have to go see the play itself.

I can say that you are in for a surprise though if you’ve seen the play before. Director Rachel Ditor actually tracked down the fourth act that has never been published. As far as she knows this is the first time the play has appeared as it was originally written, and in its original order. It omits act three and skips right to act four. After finding this out I felt quite privileged to have seen it knowing that not many others have seen it like this before. At the end of the day I highly suggest you support our local theatre because it’s a MILLION times better than television and you always feel good after you see a stage show.

FYI the Arts Club is doing HAIRSPRAY as one of their next shows, running May 12–July 10, 2011. Give me a call if you want to come with me cause I am STOKED!

Here is some info from the Arts Club website about the play:www.artsclub.com

Now playing until April 17, 2011 | Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
A Wickedly Wicked Comedy

Leonard will do anything to avoid commitment—even get married! Desperate to escape possessive Julia, he proposes to Grace, whose primary allure is an emotional detachment that rivals his own. Shaw’s classic drawing room satire is a hilarious examination of the quest to escape “happily ever after”.

The Philanderer is the Arts Club Theatre Company’s 500th production
Running time: Approximately 2 hours including one intermission
Tickets: $29.00-$63.00