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The School for Scandal

Distributed by Kino Lorber Edu, 333 West 39 St, Suite 503, New York, NY 10018; 212-629-6880
Produced by James Haddrell and Tim Sawers; Richard Adams (for Stage on Screen Producer)
Directed by Elizabeth Freestone (for the stage); Chris Cowey (for Stage on Screen Outside Broadcast Director)
DVD, color, 154 min.
Sr. High - General Adult
Theater, Literature

Reviewed by Rue McKenzie, University of South Florida, Tampa

Highly Recommended  Highly Recommended   
Date Entered: 9/8/2011

Stage on Screen’s presentation of The School for Scandal is a colorful, lively and fast-paced production of Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s 1777 farce. Gossip and misrepresentation run rampant throughout this story of sibling rivalry, romance, societal pressures and the ever present need to be ‘in fashion’. The play clips along with dizzying dialogue, noteworthy physicality, interesting musical moments, and a wonderful costume design referred to as “Punk Restoration” by members of the production. While the conversations are at times challenging to follow, the overall viewing experience is gratifying and fun. Many elements of the play are as relevant and recognizable as integral issues in our current society as they seem to have been in the late 18th century.

The Education & Library Pack reviewed contains a DVD of the play with multiple camera views and optional subtitles, a DVD of interviews with the director, production crew members, and the cast, and a single view Mastershot DVD of the play. The extra features provide unique and valuable insight. For example, the scene auctioning the family portraits creates quite a different experience when viewed with multiple camera angles rather than the single view mastershot. And the interviews with the director, cast and crew touch upon specific elements of both the play and this particular production.

While the multi-DVD release is successfully focused toward educators and students of the theater (both performance and design) and English literature, it could easily be very enjoyable for the general viewer.

Highly recommended for both educational support and personal viewing.