A Comedy by William Wycherley
Directed by Rosemary Bianchi
Written in 1675, this bawdy comedy is set in London, when Charles II was on the throne and the city throbbed with vitality, intrigue and dubious liaisons. When first performed it was very controversial, scandalising society. Female actors were a novelty on stage and the thrill of seeing women in cross dressing roles added zest to the production. In its time it was seen as a sharp social satire, with its themes of hypocrisy and human folly, but it also has the fast comic pace of farce and a deliciously naughty storyline. Horner is a serial seducer, with a new scheme to win the ladies while tricking their trusting husbands. An innocent young country girl brought to London as the new wife of old Pinchwife seems ready prey for Horner’s desires, but all does not go according to plan.
Our production will be set in the period that the play was written, although our script has been subtly abridged so that it is accessible to a modern audience. The play follows the tradition of giving the characters names that reflect their traits, personalities or actions.
- Harry Horner, Playing age late 20s – late 30s. A man of the world, a Don Juan, clever, cynical, detached, charming, willing to sacrifice public respect for private satisfaction.
- Frank Harcourt, Horner’s friend and a romantic idealist, witty and exuberant (20s -40s)
- Jack Pinchwife, A middle aged former rake who takes a young country girl as a wife and is now a typical jealous husband (50s, claiming to be 40)
- Sparkish the fop, a shallow and foolish playboy (20s-40s)
- Sir Jasper Fidget, A pompous, busy, dogmatic, hot-headed fool, obsessed with his own projects and neglectful of his wife (50s-60s)
- Mrs Margery Pinchwife, a young newly married country innocent in London, full of life and curiosity and possessed of a natural instinct for survival (20s)
- Alithea Pinchwife, Jack’s sister, sensible, dignified and intelligent. (20 to 30s)
- My Lady Fidget, Much younger and more lustful than her husband and the leader of the ‘virtuous gang’ (30s-40s)
- Dainty Fidget, Sir Jasper’s unmarried younger sister (20-40s)
- Mistress Squeamish, unmarried relation of the Fidgets (20-40s)
- A Boy, Horner’s servant
- A Quack Doctor, Horner’s partner in the conspiracy to declare our hero a eunuch (any age)
- Lucy, Alithea’s Maid, clever, sensible and resourceful (any age)
- Waiters, servants and attendants
Scripts are available behind the Box Office. Please contact me if you have any questions or problems with the audition. My number is 07979 758561 or email .