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Theatre: She Stoops To Conquer

[ 17 November 2014 | Print This Post ]
17 November 2014

AFTER the critical acclaim of Rutherford and Son in April last year, Northern Broadsides are set to return to The Lowry with Oliver Goldsmith’s much loved 18th century comedy of manners, ‘She Stoops To Conquer’ from Tue 9 – Sat 13 December.

Relocated, in true Northern Broadsides style, from the West Country to the North of England, Goldsmith’s 1773 play is a celebrated story of class, courtship and dysfunctional families. Tongue-tied, uptight Charles Marlow needs a lesson in the art of love. He longs for a wife, but finds it easier to have a bit on the side. Barmaid Kate seems fair game – but there’s more to her than meets the eye.

Set against the increasingly chaotic proceedings of one very long night, She Stoops to Conquer is filled with ludicrous misunderstandings, larger than life characters, outrageous frocks, enormous wigs and plenty of mischief and mayhem.

Directed by Conrad Nelson, the She Stoops to Conquer cast will feature Jon Trenchard, who recently performed at The Lowry in Fiddler on The Roof and is a regular face in Propeller theatre productions. Recent credits also include A Midsummer’s Night Dream and Swallows and Amazons (Bristol Old Vic) and A Government Inspector (Northern Broadsides). Other cast members include Lauryn Redding (An August Bank Holiday Lark, Northern Broadsides); Guy Lewis (Twelfth Night, Regent’s Park); Alan McMahon (Wind in the Willows, Birmingham Repertory Theatre ); Howard Chadwick (A Government Inspector, Northern Broadsides ); Gilly Tompkins (Brassed Off, York Theatre Royal, Octagon Theatre and the Touring Theatre Consortium and Rutherford and Son, Northern Broadsides); Oliver Gomm (The School for Scheming, Orange Tree Theatre); Andrew Price (1984, Northern Broadsides); Hannah Edwards (Inherit the Wind, New Vic, Stoke); Andrew Whitehead (An August Bank Holiday Lark, Northern Broadsides ). Other roles will be played by Robert Took (Don’t Shoot The Messenger, Mikron Theatre).

Designer Jessica Worrall said about the look of the production:

“I want to create something that emphasises the constraining nature of the play’s rural society setting but avoids over literal representation.

18th Century folding screens concealed a multitude of mostly unsavoury activities- two giants versions of these will function as the ‘walls’ of the piece and frame the action, creating an almost chamber piece atmosphere. The screens, covered with enlarged digital prints of Gainsborough landscapes, will bring the exterior world inside. The rural setting of the piece and its ’distance’ from London, still deemed to be the centre of society, is a really important element in the design and the over-scaled landscaped walls of ‘Raleigh Hall’ drip with the heads of stuffed animals.

I’ve taken this heightened realism into the costumes. Using references from noted 18th century satirical cartoonists such as Gilray and Rowlandson traditional costume design has been combined with vivid contemporary colours and fabrics to create a world where Thomas Gainsborough and William Hogarth meet Vivienne Westwood with a large amount of taxidermy thrown in for good measure.”

Northern Broadsides is a theatre company with a true northern voice. Their work is characterised by a high degree of theatrical inventiveness and robust performances from a large ensemble cast of multi-talented and charismatic northern actors who all perform in their natural voices. For the past 22 years, they have delighted audiences here and abroad with a growing classic repertoire which has won them many awards and a loyal following worldwide.

Tickets for She Stoops to Conquer are priced at £19-£23 (£2 off Concs) and can be purchased at the Box Office on 0843 208 6000 or online at www.thelowry.com/event/she-stoops-to-conquer

For more information on She Stoops to Conquer visit www.northern-broadsides.co.uk

When: Tue 9 – Sat 13 December

Where: Quays Theatre, The Lowry

Times 8pm, Wed 1.30pm, Sat 2.30pm


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