Fleur Kronenberg and her crew developed what used to be a “fun thesis” into an elaborate production that proved itself to be entertaining. The full house probably did not expect to have such an eventful adventure with Lady Gwen coming in.
What captured my attention right from the beginning was the play’s special introduction. There was Arthur in the spotlight, delivering his speech as a background to the play to clear out any uncertainty the audience might have had. Lady Gwen and the Green Man is a modern adaptation of the 14th century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. What this play has in resemblance with the original plot is the main characters, along with Gwen’s thirst to overcome the challenge of the Green Man.
The undeniable characteristic that Lady Gwen and the Green Man has to offer is its sense of humor. The audience realized this right from the first scene of the play. As soon as the Green Man walked in, he transformed the room’s quietness into a burst of laughter. There was something about his gesture, his evil laugh that shook us. The laughter did not stop from then. There were many creative lines in the script that amused the audience, from its sense of irony when Sir B asked Sat, “Why do you let people walk all over you like that?” or when Angel claimed that “Sat wouldn’t recognise a girl if she sat on his face.” The audience also benefitted from the play’s fast pace, which actually was both a strength and a weakness. On the one hand, it kept the audience engaged. On the other, it did not leave enough space for the development of the plot.
In details, there were a few points that fell short, one of them being the relationship between Lady B and Gwen. Towards the end, Lady B gave Gwen a green scarf (which turned out to be a key object in helping Gwen finding the Green Man). Yet, the action felt unnatural as the plot did not take enough time to explain Lady B’s affection for Gwen. The same critique goes to the abrupt ending – the Green Man’s puzzle was too easy to solve. However, this is a script flaw and does not impact negatively on the production itself.
The one thing that I admire about the story is its ability to capture reality. Issues such as office gossips, peer pressure and identity, though exaggerated, oddly reflected what one would encounter in real life. I was particularly fond of the friendship between Angel and Sat, a catty girl and a neglected boy, which is a peculiar yet resilient friendship that anyone would love to have. Although the pair appears to be annoyed by each other, they remain faithful during the whole play.
Speaking of the characters’ personalities, all of them are like different hues of the rainbow, well-defined and unmistakable. There is the uncertain Sir B, who is dominated by the assertive Lady B. Dan and Liz, the gossiping colleagues, bring a light-hearted dimension to the play. Angel and Sat, as mentioned above, the pair of friends who have internal battles going on in their life. However, I find there is something incomplete about the character of Gwen. As the main character and the protagonist of the play, I expected to see more admirable qualities in her. During the whole adventure of her being at the office, she focused too much on her search for the Green Man that she sold her friends, Angel and Sat, out to Dan and Liz to impress them.
Moving on to the execution of the play, it was absolutely flawless. There are two things that I would like to name in particular. The first is the simple yet clever settings of the stage. There was the coffee table on stage left, where everybody gathered during their break. The office of the CEO was set on stage right, where Sir B and his wife called in the employees. As the play mainly took place between these two places, this mise-en-scène was efficient as it did not require the blocks to be moved every lights out.
Last but not least, what I loved the most about the play was the outstanding performance from the entire cast. All of them approached their characters in such a vivid yet genuine way. From Sir B’s voice crack to Sat’s stutter, from Angel’s divaesque to Lady B’s charming gesture, from Dan’s flamboyant outfit to Gwen’s humble manner, from Liz’s sassy attitude to Arthur’s inspiring narration, the entire cast made their characters believable to the point where I felt like I was in the office with them.
In short, I found the play to be an entertaining experience. Every character made me laugh, and with that said, I would not mind sitting a little longer to see more development from the play.