There are times when a play has a good performance but the play itself lacks dramatic content to sustain interest. Maurice Roeves solo performance cannot be faulted but the play has little to recommend it.
It is set in 1959 in Mexico and we are introduced to Angelo Ravagli in his late 60’s. He has had an interesting past. He was the gardener to D H and Frieda Lawrence whose lover he became, and after D H died, Frieda’s third husband. Frieda was 12 years older than Angelo. It is recognised that the character of Mellors was based on Ravagli in Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
The style of the play is conversational. Throughout the whole performance, Ravagli is seated. He is addressing Saki Karavas, a Greek hotel owner, giving his thoughts and musings, with the intention of selling him 9 paintings by D H Lawrence that he has inherited from the now deceased Frieda. The paintings are shown on a back screen. In their day they were regarded as obscene but to the modern eye they are not. Ravagli tries to analyse their meaning as they do puzzle.
They play has a dated feel about. Some of the references have little significance in our times. With no movement and the mildest of dry humour, it is a dreary experience unless you might happen to be a D H Lawrence aficionado.
Reviewed by Ben
Assembly 1: 3
1 to 27 August 2012 (not 13)
15.20 – 16.30
Fringe Programme Page Number: 289