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RSS FeedsThe Country Wife review - a Restoration romp around Soho
(The Guardian Culture News)


14 june 2018 18:27:46

The Country Wife review - a Restoration romp around Soho
(The Guardian Culture News)

Minerva, ChichesterWilliam Wycherley´s 1675 comedy of manners and morals gets a modern-day update starring Susannah FieldingIs it always necessary to update Restoration comedy? Two months ago a revival at Southwark Playhouse set William Wycherley´s famously filthy play in the 1920s. Although Jonathan Munby´s Chichester production is far better staged and acted, it chooses to put this 1675 comedy in the present day with decidedly mixed results. The assumption is that London life hasn´t much changed in nearly three and a half centuries but I wonder how true that is.The plot hinges on a cynical decision by Horner, in order to gain access to the ladies of the town, to feign impotence: a somewhat extreme way of going about things for any modern rake. But Wycherley´s comic device is a way of satirising contemporary marriage. One husband, Pinchwife, keeps his rustic young bride, Margery, in a state of virtual imprisonment. Another husband, Sir Jasper Fidget, is so negligent he actively encourages his wife to consort with Horner. Yet another plot strand shows a foolish fop, Sparkish, casually mistreating his fiancee whom he is only marrying for her money. Continue reading...
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