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BWW Review: JUST TO GET MARRIED, Finborough Theatre


BWW Review: JUST TO GET MARRIED, Finborough Theatre

BWW Review: JUST TO GET MARRIED, Finborough Theatre Georgiana Vicary, her whole family and her circle of friends are all waiting for shy Adam Lancaster to propose to her and end her shame of being almost 30 and still unmarried. Her conscience and truthfulness, however, do not make her life with the handsome fiancé easy. The first London production of suffragette Cicely Hamilton's play in over 100 years is diverse and funny, but takes time to properly kick off.

Directed by Melissa Dunne and starring Philippa Quinn as Georgiana, Just To Get Married becomes a harsher critique on today's society by showing how "perfectly ridiculous" its expectations were (and still are). Georgiana couldn't be further away from desiring marriage to a man she has no interest in; her only wish is to secure a decent future since she's not able to do anything herself. Her dependence on her foster family is ever-present, and constant social pressure weighs heavily on each and every character.

Georgiana is highly aware that she's the one who's really uninterested in Adam, and therefore blames his delay on herself. As the play goes on, she starts seeing marrying him as dishonest and deceitful, for in her eyes she has nothing to give him in return.

While his taking time is merely caused by shyness and fear of being turned down, her attitude stems from the concern of being perceived as less than a woman by the others. "You're always trying to undervalue yourself" Adam tells her when she starts to confess that she has her reservations about their wedding.

Their family friends are always watchful, ready to criticise, but Georgiana is the first to judge herself on her total disinterest towards what should be every woman's goal: marriage.

Quinn and Jonny McPherson - who plays Adam - don't find their rhythm straightaway, so the show takes a while to fully get into gear. However, as soon as the cast has warmed up a bit, the witty back and forth of Hamilton's script comes alive, conjuring a world dominated by gossip and social expectations.

Nicola Blackman steals the show as Lady Catherine Grayle, Georgiana's aunt. Her assertive personality and strong grip on the household make her children and husband pivot around her; but not Georgie, who finally shows her rebellious honesty.

With a set design by Katharine Davies Herbst, costumes by Lottie Smith, and lighting by Robbie Butler, the period production looks accurate and detailed: the classy richness of the clothes and accents in the furniture help define the social environment the family inhabits from the very start.

Hamilton's suffragette convictions make this a forward-looking play for its time, and this revival becomes a mirror of a reality for women today who are judged if they show disinterest in starting a family - or who prefer to build a strong career before committing to relationships.

Georgiana's honesty about her desire to take control of her own fate - and defying society in the process - makes her a budding feminist, and makes this production feel thoroughly modern.

Just To Get Married runs at Finborough Theatre until 19 August.

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From This Author Cindy Marcolina