The Waterford International Music Festival is certainly bringing in the changes with splendid style and a positive touch of class. The beautiful foyer of The Theatre Royal was transformed by Abrege Flowers to seat over eighty people for a rustic Italian banquet and comedy opera. There was crisp white linen, white covered chairs decked in ivy and large candelabras to set the scene for La Locandiera, a Goldini classic comedy with a little topical music.

I thought initially that the production from Wonderland Productions lacked a musical or operatic touch but the interaction of characters in and among the seated guests at Mirandolina’s Inn worked a treat.

Five actors kept the plot simmering as the audience dined in style on a La Palma catered meal with a tasty Italian touch. Four men were crazy in love with the hostess Mirandolina, even though one of them proclaimed his chauvinism – woman is man’s insupportable infirmity – this character called the Ulsterman was a fine foil for the two florid and funny suitors The Marchese of Forlipopli and the fawning Count of the Flowering Dawn. Damien O’Donnell excelled as the love-struck Fabrizio and Oirish manservant.

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