Distinctive amateur drama
in Northampton since 1932
Registered Charity No. 294848
by Aphra Behn, adapted by David Chappell
Tue 12 - Sat 16 December 2017 at 7.30pm
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Sheep Street, Northampton NN1 3NL
PREVIEW: 'A bunch of Brits having fun abroad'.
David Chappell, adaptor and director
The Rover was written by Aphra Behn and premiered to great success in 1677. It is a jolly excellent example of Restoration comedy.
Behn herself had an interesting life: she was a playwright, poet, translator and fiction writer and is counted among the first English women to earn her living by her writing.
Rising from obscurity, Behn came to the notice of King Charles II, who employed her as a political spy in Antwerp. On her return to London she began writing for the stage, it has been said of her that she possessed, “...a lethal combination of obscurity, secrecy and staginess... she is not so much a woman to be unmasked as an unending combination of masks".
"Mistaken identities, cross dressing, drunkeness, gypsies, music, lust, sword fights...."
The Rover follows the adventures of a bunch of Brits having fun abroad, sorry. A band of banished English cavaliers enjoying themselves at carnival time in fair Naples, where we lay our scene... (wrong play!) Naples, at that time, was ruled by Spain, so there will be both Italian and Spanish influences in the play
The Rover has multiple plotlines revolving around the central character of Willmore, an amorous, rakish and roguish captain, the Rover of the title. Willmore falls in love with Hellena, who’s determined to experience love before Pedro, her brother, sends her to a convent. However, problems arise when Angellica Bianca, the most desirable and famous of courtesans, becomes 'available' and, despite herself, falls in love with Willmore.
As it all begins to unravel, Florinda (Hellena's older sister) tries to avoid an unwanted and arranged marriage to her brother's best friend. Rather, she plans instead to marry her true love, Colonel Belville (another of the band of cavaliers!). In amongst all of this are mistaken identities, cross dressing, drunkeness, gypsies, music, lust, sword fights and the third major plot; which concerns Blunt, another of the band, he’s from Essex... he becomes convinced that Lucetta (who turns out to be a thief and a prostitute) loves him, he is totally humiliated by her and tries to rape Florinda, as revenge against all women for the pain and damage that Lucetta has caused him.
Of course, all’s well that ends we... oh, wrong play again!
Masque Theatre's production is directed by David Chappell.
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