Consider, if you will The Convenient Marriage, a hilarious page-turner in which the brash, barely-out-of-the-schoolroom Miss Horatia Winwood solves her elder sisterâ€™s inconvenient-but-dutiful engagement to the notoriously self-contained Earl of Rule by showing up at his house and offering herself in exchange. As the Earl and his young bride work some of the most counter-intuitive moves imaginable in order to seduce each other into an authentic marriage, the peripheral characters romp through this story like Georgian Marx Brothers, pulling noses, inspiring blue-wigged macaronis to call them out, taking to the High Toby with a brilliantly wrought cockney thief, and stumbling into abduction scenes theyâ€™ve mistaken for card parties. Please bring these people to life for us!
And while youâ€™re at it, please consider allowing us to meet The Grand Sophy â€” part Mary Poppins, part Annie Oakley â€” the irrepressible horsewoman and diplomat who keeps a small, ladylike gun in her handmuff and an Italian Greyhound beneath her skirts. Please produce four nights of False Colors and have Kit Fancot travel from Vienna to London on a hunch that his twin is in trouble, so we can delight in his flighty â€œcharming peagooseâ€ of a mother, and her ardent, indulgent and fearfully fat cicisbeo, Sir Bonamy. And if your taste in some season is running toward darker stories, please allow us to watch the Duke of Avon and his abused-but-valiant French ward (think Audrey Tautou!) wend their way through the fascinating and disturbing tale of These Old Shades! Show us how an unattractive heroine, married as part of A Civil Contract, manages to persevere and win everything by means of her simple human decency.
30 May 2016