Performances of Restoration comedies are few and far between nowadays, and when a really fine one, of probably the very best example of the genre, turns up, it should not be ignored. The Crediton Art Centre's resident drama group, The Brown Paper Bag Theatre Company, performed William Wycherley's 1675 play, The Country Wife, over four nights in Crediton during January to great critical acclaim, and are bringing the show, for one night, to Moretonhampstead Parish Hall.
With a very strong cast, fabulous late 17th century style costumes (elegantly made almost entirely from Charity Shop curtain material), and dance tunes of the time from a string and wind quartet, director Julian Wild has created a fast-paced and very funny interpretation of Wycherley's satirical portrait of sex, love and marriage in the decadent Restoration era.
Beautifully written, very funny and sharply clever in its psychological portrayals, the play has three plot strands interwoven with, at it's heart, a lie, that by constant repetition, spreads out through society and becomes the accepted truth, as many people become affected by it. A remarkably contemporary theme!
The fact that the play is rarely performed means it is highly recommended to all students of, History, English and Drama who might otherwise not get to see a live performance of a drama from that fascinating time when the English theatre returned, after Cromwell, with a new kind of writer and actor ( including women for the first time), and with satirical bite.
It's recommended to anyone fancying a good, funny, and rude evening's entertainment or, indeed, just a chance to see a small, local, theatre company performing at the top of their game.