NUI, GALWAY Dramsoc will be staging their annual summer play from Monday June 22 to Saturday 27 at 8pm in the form of Oliver Goldsmith’s pioneering comic play She Stoops to Conquer.
This play, which shows the havoc engineered by the mischievous Tony Lumpkin on the night of his sister’s proposal and his cousin’s elopement, marked the beginning of a renaissance in stage comedy when it was first performed in London in 1773.
It has remained a firm favourite with theatre audiences ever since and is one of the few plays of its era to still receive regular performances.
The hero of the play is Charles Marlow, a wealthy young man who is being forced by his family to consider a potential bride whom he has never met. He is anxious about meeting her, because he suffers from shyness and can only behave naturally with women of a lower class.
He sets out with a friend to travel to the home of his prospective in-laws, the Hardcastles, but they become lost on the road.
While the bride-to-be is awaiting his arrival, her half-brother, Tony Lumpkin (one of literature’s great comic characters ), comes across the two strangers en route, and, realising their identity, plays a practical joke by telling them that they are a long way from their destination and will have to stay overnight at an inn.
The ‘inn’ he directs them to is in fact the home of his parents. When they arrive, their hosts, who have been expecting them, go out of their way to make them welcome. However, the two men, believing themselves in a hostelry, behave rudely to them.
Meanwhile, Tony’s sister, Kate, learning of the error and of her suitor’s shyness, masquerades as a serving-maid in order to get to know him. There ensues a complicated, convoluted, and uproariously funny drama based on miscommunication and mistaken identities.
Dramsoc’s production is directed by Peter Flynn and features a cast of 13, among whom are David Burke (Marlow ), Roisin Dolan (Kate ), and Eoin ‘Scruff’ Mannion (Tony Lumpkin ).
She Stoops to Conquer runs at the Bank of Ireland Theatre in NUIG. Tickets are €5 and €3.