Metro Theatre Centre

Relative Values
by Noel Coward

Venue: Metro Theatre
Dates: 7 June - 5 July 2003

Reviewer: Jane Penistan




Director: Catherine Morrison
Set designer: Matt Taylor
Lighting: Chris Oliver and Jennifer Dick
Costume design: Pat McClean
Stage manager Heather Stewart




  Relative Values is a late Coward play but is as witty, socially satirical and humorous as ever. What mother does not fear an unfortunate marriage for her son? Few mothers would go to the devious lengths of Felicity Lady Marshwood's plotting to save her somewhat goofy son from his entanglement with a brash American film star.

Written in 1951, this postwar work looks at the changing values of British life in a subtle way.

Performing this essentially English comedy is difficult for 21st century Canadians, but Metro Theatre Company makes a very creditable presentation. The set is well designed giving an air of spacious comfort and includes Coward's obligatory numerous but unobtrusive exit and entry doors.

The costumes are colourful and appropriate and well worn by the cast. The lighting designers and operators do a really excellent job.

Outstanding in the cast is Jane Noble as Felicity Countess of Marshwood. She is well supported by Gerard Ponsford as Crestwell, her butler. As Mrs.




Dora Moxford, Nina Shoropova hides a past with her efficient lady's maid appearance and service. She and Crestwell together make an admirable pair both as the experienced and dutiful servants and when they "let their hair down" in moments of stress and become real people. Crestwell's worldly wisdom and succinct Cockney comments keep both upstairs and downstairs on an even keel.

Other members of the cast put in adequate contributions to the evening's entertaining disentangling of Felicity's subtle plotting.

This is good summer fun and entertainment to close the Metro's 40th season. Go and enjoy it. This is good summer fun and entertainment to close the Metro's 40th season. Go and enjoy it.

Relative Values runs at Metro Theatre, 1370 S.W. Marine Drive at 8.00 p.m. Wednesday - Saturday. June 7 -July 5, 2003. For tickets. Reservations and more information call 604=266-7191, or visit

2003, Jane Penistan