Arcola reveals cast for Marivaux comedy The Game of Love and Chance

Last Updated on 24 June 2021 by Showcall Editorial Team

Full casting has been announced for Arcola Theatre’s adaptation of Marivaux’s comedy, The Game of Love and Chance, at its new outdoor venue this summer

Arcola Game of Love and Chance
David Acton, Ammar Duffus, George Kemp, Beth Lilly, Michael Lyle and Ellie Nunn

Arcola Theatre has announced full casting for its “raucous” adaptation of Pierre de Marivaux’s classic romantic comedy, The Game of Love and Chance, at its new outdoor venue.

This new version of the 18th-century French play, now a satire on modern British high society, will feature David Acton as Mr Orgon, Ammar Duffus as Dorante, George Kemp as Marius, Beth Lilly as Lisette, Michael Lyle as Harlequin and Ellie Nunn as Lady Silvia Orgon.

The production reunites adapter and director Jack Gamble with adapter and associate director Quentin Beroud after their critically acclaimed production of DH Lawrence’s The Daughter-in-Law at the Arcola in 2019.

Running from 14 July to 7 August, with opening night on 19 July, it will be the Arcola’s first in-house production at Arcola Outside, the east London theatre’s new outdoor space near to its base in Ashwin Street. Devised by award-winning designer Jon Bausor, it also features a bar.

Arcola’s co-founder and artistic director, Mehmet Ergen, said: “We’re so pleased to be reopening this summer and for Arcola’s first production to be this new take on Marivaux’s classic comedy, The Game of Love and Chance.

“Almost 300 years after it was first written, the play’s themes of the intransigence of our relationship to class are still so resonant, and the humour and playfulness of the production seem like a perfect way to bring audiences back together with laughter after such a difficult and painful year.”

Marivaux’s classic comedy of love and class has been updated to a modern world of minor royals and major scandals. Lady Silvia Orgon, 58th in line to the British throne, faces a crisis when she falls in love with a man she thinks her family would never accept.

The team behind the production believe their new version will have added topicality coming amid the fallout from the Harry and Meghan interview, which has shone an international spotlight on the royal family’s traditional attitudes and the ongoing prejudices at the top of British society.

The original play was inspired by the Italian tradition of commedia dell’arte which was brought to life in Wuthering Heist, the first episode in the latest series of Inside No 9 on BBC2 in May.

The creative team includes designer Louie Whitemore, lighting designer Geoff Hense, sound designer Tom Attwood, choreographer Natasha Harrison and commedia consultant Didi Hopkins.

The Game of Love and Chance is part of Arcola Theatre’s reopening outdoor festival of art and performance, Today I’m Wiser. Running from June to November, the festival features special collaborations and diverse stories from a broad range of theatre companies.

The first production at Arcola Outside was due to be the world premiere of Cat Goscovitch’s A Russian Doll, in collaboration with the Barn Theatre in Cirencester, but this has now been postponed to autumn 2021.

About Mark Ludmon 318 Articles
Mark Ludmon has been a journalist for over 20 years, specialising in theatre, hospitality and drinks after starting in regional daily newspapers. He has an MA in early modern literature and history, focusing on Elizabethan and Jacobean drama, and a theatre studies MA from Royal Central School of Speech & Drama. He is a former panellist for the Olivier Awards. He tweets at @MarkLudmon.