“All for one and one for all!”
Who has not heard this famous phrase, or of the Three Musketeers and their adventures? How many different adaptations of Alexandre Dumas’ novel have there been since the book’s publication in 1844? Many, of course but perhaps none like this.
While I was fully expecting a drama, what I found was a dramatic plot spiced with liberal dashes of humor. What struck me was the well-adapted dialogues, including clever jokes, during dramatic scenes. With such a lengthy and in some ways exhausting plot, comic relief was appreciated. The audience could enjoy both tragic and amusing aspects of the play.
I must mention the good quality of the scenes that were put together by fight director Paul Gelineau, along with choreographer and fight captain Phillip Nero. I can only imagine what the actors endured to produce the fight scenes. While we may be accustomed to spectacular fighting scenes with stunt doubles and astounding special effects, it was a refreshing to see nonCGI choreography that was believable and well performed. The scene in which the Three Musketeers fought together with D’Artagnan against the Cardinal’s guard was remarkable— all the different, simultaneous fights seemed highly structured and well thought out, since each fitted the different personalities of their respective characters: Aramis, Porthos, Athos and D’Artagnan.
The quality of the actors cannot be left unmentioned. In particular, Tom Wood’s performance of Cardinal Richelieu was truly remarkable; he played an exceptionally compelling malevolent plotter. Melissa MacPherson as Milady de Winter was also one of those characters you just love to hate. The cathartic scene in which Milady makes her last appearance was exquisite: the fight, the revelation, and the punishment.
Perhaps my favourite performance was that of Adrian Proszowski as King Louis. There was not a single scene in which I did not enjoy his charisma which, aided by the wonderful costumes by Leslie Frankish, gave the character a most powerful presence on stage.
Porthos (Ashley White) was another character I could not get tired of, and who made the Musketeers scenes playful by adding a little bit of irreverence. His brutal honesty is not appreciated by the other Musketeers most of the time. Bu it is this interaction between the vastly different personalities of Porthos, Athos, Aramis and the not-yet-musketeer D’Artagnan that makes “The Three Musketeers” such an appealing story. While they are all different they are, above all, loyal friends.
Because I do not like to spoil anything to those of you that are planning to attend the play (April 2-24 at the Citadel’s Maclab Theatre), I will just say that I loved the “horses.”