240 years after it was first performed, Arcola Theatre is delighted to present The Rivals in a new production directed by Selina Cadell, in Studio 1. Running for one month, you can catch the show between October 15th and November 15th. Tickets are on sale now.
The Rivals, written by Richard Brinsley Sheridan in 1775, is possibly the best known and loved of all the Restoration Comedies.
When Town meets Country in the summer streets of Bath, Society begins to play. The stakes are Money, Reputation and Inheritance. Amidst frolic and deceit, we discover secret assignations and disguises, resulting in duels, duplicities, misunderstandings and misalliances. And the much-admired Lydia Languish – our heroine – is at the centre of it all while her Aunt, the infamous Mrs. Malaprop, adds gloriously to the confusion with her hilarious and nonsensical misuse of words.
Against this whirlwind backdrop, Sheridan, the master of wit and epigram, leads us laughing into his charming party – and welcomes us to a true Comedy of Manners.
Selina Cadell is best known for her work as a British stage actress, in a prolific career spanning three decades. Recent stage credits include Alan Bennett’s People and The Habit of Art at the National Theatre and Sam Mendes’ production of The Cherry Orchard at the Old Vic Theatre and on Broadway.
The cast will be lead by Gemma Jones as Mrs Malaprop. Jones is known for film roles including Bridget’s mother Pam in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Madam Pomfrey in the Harry Potter films, Mrs Dashwood alongside Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson in the Academy Award-winning Sense and Sensibility, and more recently Helena alongside Anthony Hopkins in Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger.
The cast also includes Nick Le Prevost (Sir Anthony Absolute), Ian Batchelor (Captain Jack Absolut), Adam Jackson-Smith (Faulkland), Justin Edwards (Bob Acres), Adrian McLoughlin (Sir Lucius O’Trigger/ Thomas), Carl Prekopp (Fag/David), Jenny Rainsford (Lydia Languish), Justine Mitchell (Julia Melvill) and Hannah Stokely (Lucy).