The Dog in the Manger, Shakespeare Theatre

Oh, Lope. I think I get you now, and I think I do because of the production of Dog in the Manger at the Shakespeare Theatre. Because, well, Lope- I've read you before. Several plays, several times. And I think I can tell you this now, because we're cool, right?- I kind of thought that you were completely flat. Flat dialogue, flat characters- I wasn't moved, I wasn't interested, I didn't care. But NOW, NOW, Lope... Now we grok each other. Now I can use a word like "grok" with you and know that you won't write me off as a geek, just like I can look at your plays and realise that yes, you grok US. You get audiences. You understand what we need and what we like to see, and by heaven, you give it to us.

Case in point: The Dog in the Manger. The production running at the Shakespeare Theatre, as directed by Jonathan Munby, is FUN. I could end my review here and now because while, yes there are a few faults, both in the production and in the play itself (sorry, Lope), it's worth it. It LOOKS beautiful, the actors are excellent throughout, and it's just FUN. The audience hung on every word and their enjoyment of the evening was palpable.

Lope's plays aren't staged very often, and one of the greatest things I can say about this production is that after seeing Dog in the Manger, the audience is left asking Why not? Munby's production is vibrant and passionate and FUN (did I mention that?) and is highly recommended. GO. You will thank yourself. Lope and I salute you.


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