July 2017 – She Stoops to Conquer or The Mistakes of a Night

Rococo Players are pleased to announce that our 2017 summer production will be She Stoops to Conquer or The Mistakes of a Night, one of the greatest comedies in the English language. Written by Oliver Goldsmith, She Stoops to Conquer is as fresh, funny and full of mischief today, as when it was first performed in 1773. Prepare for fun, frolics and big wigs!

The play will be performed from Wednesday 19th to Saturday 22nd July on the magnificent lawns of St. Edward’s School in Charlton Kings and from Thursday 27th to Saturday 29th July in the wonderful garden at Hawkwood College Stroud.

Auditions will be held in the Pittville Room at the Playhouse Theatre on Friday March 24th, also at 7.30pm.

There are parts for all in this play. Apart from the five male and three female roles there are great comic opportunities for servants, maids and frequenters of The Three Pigeons alehouse; all that is needed is enthusiasm, energy and a strong sense of humour!

Audition pieces: Tony and Mrs Hardcastle Constance (1) – Kate and Mr Hardcastle – Kate and Maid – Kate and Marlow (1) – Kate and Constance – Hardcastle and servants – Tony and Hastings – Mrs Hardcastle – Constance and Hastings – Kate and Marlow – Constance
Synopsis: One of the greatest comedies in the English language, Oliver Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer is as fresh, funny and full of mischief today, as when it was first performed in 1773.
Squire Hardcastle, a wealthy country landowner wishes to marry his daughter Kate to the well-educated Marlow, son of his old friend Sir Charles Marlow. Before Charles and his friend George Hastings arrive at the house however, they are waylaid by Mr. Hardcastle’s stepson, Tony Lumpkin. Tony is a mischievous practical joker who persuades the young men that the Hardcastle’s house is, in fact, the local inn. Thus, when Marlow and Hastings arrive, Marlow treats the Hardcastle family with impudence and disrespect, falsely believing them to be the innkeeper and his servants.
Kate is less than impressed when she finds out that, despite his good looks and respectable character, Marlow is extremely shy and reserved around ladies. Marlow mistakes Kate for a maid and she allows him to continue in his false belief until she finds out his true nature.
Meanwhile, George Hastings is thrilled to find his true love, Constance Neville, living as a ward at the Hardcastle’s house. Mrs. Hardcastle, the Squire’s scheming second wife, plans that Constance should marry her son Tony, thus keeping her wealth in the family. Wanting to find a way out of his marriage, Tony helps Constance to retrieve her inheritance by getting his mother out of the way and dumping her in a local horsepond!
Finally, with the arrival of Sir Charles Marlow, all is put to rights. The two couples find happiness with each other and Tony successfully gains his independence, without an unwanted engagement.

Characters.
Mr. Hardcastle
Mr. Hardcastle, a hearty old country squire and former soldier who loves nothing more than living a quiet life, retelling old jokes and stories to his guests.

Mrs. Hardcastle
Dorothy Hardcastle, his less genteel second wife, detests the quiet country life and longs for the polish of London society. Her chief desire is that her son Tony will marry Constance Neville and that her wealth and jewels will stay in the family.

Tony Lumpkin
Tony Lumpkin, her son by her first marriage. He is a roistering young squire completely spoiled by his doting mother. When he is not singing bawdy songs in low taverns, he is plaguing the Hardcastle household with practical jokes.

Kate Hardcastle
Kate Hardcastle is Hardcastle’s lovely daughter from his first marriage. She also has social pretensions and desires to be a woman of fashion. She comes to an arrangement with her father who agrees to allow her to wear fine clothes part of the day and ordinary clothes the rest of the time.

Constance Neville
Constance Neville, Kate’s best friend and in love with Hastings.

Young Marlow
Charles Marlow is a well-bred, educated London gentleman and also Kate’s reluctant suitor. Although timid and unsure in the presence of ladies, Marlow is quite different with working girls.

Hastings
George Hastings, Marlow’s best friend. With the help of Tony and Mr. Hardcastle, Hastings, a far more impetuous lover than Marlow, wins Constance as his bride.

Sir Charles Marlow
Sir Charles Marlow, Mr. Hardcastle’s old friend, the father of young Marlow