Saddleworth Players

She Stoops to Conquer: preview

Written by Oliver Goldsmith in 1773, She Stoops to Conquer is a comedy, bordering on farce, which still makes audiences laugh out loud almost 250 years later. Its underlying message, concerning the role of women in society, and the hopeless inadequacies of man, are still relevant, but it is the fun and entertainment of the play which has appealed to audiences since the time it was written.

When Marlowe mistakes Kate's house for an inn and treats her father like an inn keeper, things are not going to go smoothly for him. With her brother causing mischief, her father insulted and her mother plotting a marriage nobody wants it's no wonder Kate has to stoop to conquer.

The characters will have been based on Goldsmith’s 18th century experiences, but they are all very recognisable today - from the Hyacinth Bouquet lady of the manor (Mrs Hardcastle) to her camp step son (Tony Lumpkin). It is a busy play, with non-stop action involving two separate but closely linked matches. The main story concerns the proposed marriage of Kate to Marlow junior. which is being arranged by Kate’s father, Mr Hardcastle. But there is an equally important sub-plot involving their closest friends (Constance and Hastings) in an affair which does not have the approval of Constance’s Guardian, Mrs Hardcastle, who for mercurial reasons has plans for her ward to marry her son, a man with no apparent interest in her or any women.

In this production some minor adjustments have been made to the order of events, to make the play more accessible and entertaining to a modern audience, but the story, the costumes, the set and the script are unchanged.

She Stoops to Conquer will be playing at the Millgate Arts Centre from May 28 to June 4. Tickets are available at our Ticketsource booking site.

Andrew Mann, Apr 20, 2016