Olympic Feats of Contortion
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Olympic Feats of Contortion

stage_theatrepreview2-1.jpgWe posted earlier on Stuart Hughes’ charged turn as a cowboy in Soulpepper’s Fool for Love. In that production, he looked tall, lanky and all at once the rugged cowboy Mr. Jessica Lange had likely envisioned him to be. So imagine our surprise when we took in Ferenc Molnár’s Olympia, and saw a Stuart Hughes that looked almost half the size of his previous self. His hair looked a good deal longer too. “It’s called acting,” said our partner, and we can only concur that Mr. Hughes is a chameleon of the first order. And a very fine actor too.
Olympia is Hungarian playwright Molnár’s comic skewering of upper class prejudices and Austro-Hungarian tensions. Soulpepper’s production starts off slowly, but picks up steam quickly. And for a play written in 1928 it’s remarkably timeless. It would seem that chafing has existed through the ages as a subject of embarrasment and comic relief. And translates well from the Hungarian. We also loved Frank Moore as a Prince given to excitable outburts.