Romantic havoc ensues in the town of Bath when Sir Anthony arrives to arrange the marriage of his son Captain Jack Absolute to the wealthy Lydia Languish. Jack and Lydia are already in love, but because of Lydia’s obsession with romantic novels, Jack has disguised himself as a poor officer named Ensign Beverly – and he is only one of Lydia’s many suitors. The Rivals was Sheridan’s first play, and this charming comedy of manners continues to be widely performed today.
Includes an interview with Linda Kelly, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the author of Richard Brinsley Sheridan: A Life.
A L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring (in alphabetical order): Rosalind Ayres as Mrs. Malaprop
Kenneth Danziger as Thomas
Lucy Davis as Lydia Languish
Neil Dickson as David
Sarah Drew as Julia
Julian Holloway as Sir Lucius O’Trigger
Chris Neame as Sir Anthony Absolute
Lloyd Owen as Captain Jack Absolute
Moira Quirk as Lucy
Matthew Wolf as Faulkland.
Directed by Martin Jarvis. Recorded at The Invisible Studios, West Hollywood in May, 2011.
"The cause of all this is love." What a wonderful way to begin this delightful comedy of romance, mistaken identity, and manners. First performed in London in 1775, this work is the theatrical link between Shakespeare and the modern-era works of Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw. In this energetic production, the entire cast, including standouts Lloyd Owen and Lucy Davis, handle the heightened language and eighteenth-century rhythms with joy and clarity. But leave it to the incomparable Rosalind Ayres as Mrs. Malaprop to steal the show. The original source of the word “malapropism,” the literarily unique Mrs. Malaprop has only to utter upside-down phrases like "she's as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile" to keep the listener doubled-up with laughter. Classic theater.
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