The Provoked Wife (2012)

By Sir John Vanbrugh

The Provoked Wife

Directed and Designed by Norman MacCallum and Valerie Braddell

Music – Stephen Bull
Lighting Design – Keith Davies
Costumes – Elizabeth Day
Movement – Lucian Craigie
Poster, Programme Design – Jung Eun Yoo, Denise Robinson
Photos – Katia Hernandez, Caroline Pimenta
Production, Publicity, Set – Jung Eun Yoo, Jonathan Weightman

A timeless comedy of manners and contemporary concerns

CAST

MADEMOISELLE – Elizabeth Bochmann
LADY BRUTE – Valerie Braddell
RAZOR / MR JUSTICE / CONSTABLE / COLONEL BULLY – Gustavo Brito
BELINDA – Maria Carson
CORNET – Lizi Chandler
LORD RAKE – Robert Clowes
HEARTFREE – Lucian Craigie
SIR JOHN BRUTE – Norman MacCallum
CONSTANT – Eduardo Ribeiro
TAILOR / MR TREBLE – Joel Sousa
LADY FANCYFULL – Celia Williams

MUSICIANS

Stephen Bull
Ana Jacobetty
Judith Retzlik

SYNOPSIS

Lady Brute, is married to an ill-tempered drunkard Sir John. She is being courted by Constant, whose friend Heartfree, despite being a professed woman-hater, has fallen in love with Belinda, Lady Brute’s niece.  The two women arrange to meet their suitors in Spring Garden. Meanwhile on a drunken escapade, Sir John, wearing women’s clothes, is arrested by the watch. Lady Brute’s meeting with Constant is disrupted by Lady Fancyfull, who is rival for his affections. Certain that her husband will be away from home, the four lovers retire to Lady Brute’s residence. Sir John returns unexpectedly, and Constant and Heartfree have to hide. Lady Fancyfull disguises herself in a last attempt to win Heartfree, pretending to Belinda that she is married to him. Sir John, convinced that he is being cuckolded, confronts Constant, who proposes a duel. Sir John backs off, Lady Fanyfull is exposed, Heartfree will marry Belinda, and possibly the provoked wife will find solace with Constant.

Written by Sir John Vanbrugh, and first performed in the Spring of 1697, this high energy  Restoration Comedy deals with themes of marital infidelity, scheming flirtation, sexual shenanigans, intrigue, revenge, misogyny, abusive relationships and ill-advised coupling. The play is full of witty observations which, three hundred years later, contemporary audiences will find fitting, funny and full of wisdom. What do you do when you’re trapped in a loveless marriage with a brutish, gambling, drunken  oaf of a husband and a handsome, young gentleman is professing his love for you?You get out, right?

REHEARSAL PHOTOS FROM THE PROVOKED WIFE