The Way of the World

by William Congreve

directed by Roy Tabor

performed at the

Nuffield Theatre


Wednesday 29th January to Saturday 1st February 1975

About the play

The Way of the World, masterpiece of Restoration comedy, deals with a typical family situation. At the head of the family presides the absurd Lady Wishfort; her court is the 'Cabal', a gossip club, attendedby her daughter Mrs. Fainall and her niece Millamant. Lady Wishfort controls the whole of Mrs. Fainall's estate and also part of Millamant's and the play follows the struggle as to who should get these estates, Mr. Fainall or Millamant's lover Mirabell.

The plots and intrigues are interwoven skilfully-

  1. Mirabell loves Millamant and wants to marry her but has difficulty in making his advances as Lady Wishfort has a declared antipathy to him-
    • Previously Mirabell had pretended to make advances to Lady Wishfort in order to gain access to Millamant. This deception had been exposed by Mrs. Marwood, friend to lady Wishfort.
    • Now Mirabell has married his servant Waitwell to Lady Wishfort's maid Foible and plans that Waitwell shall impersonate an imaginary uncle (Sir Rowland) and woo Lady Wishfort. By ultimately declaring the deception, Mirabell hopes to take advantage of the old lady's discomfiture and so force her approval of his marriage to Millamant.
  2. Mr. Fainall, married to Lady Wishfort's daughter, wants complete control of his wife's fortune; he has no money of his own and has a mistress, Mrs.Marwood. He learns of his wife's former affair and hopes to turn this knowledge to further his hold over Lady Wishfort.
  3. Mirabell has,previously,been Mrs. Fainall's lover and married her off to Mr. Fainall when he thought she was pregnant. She is still fond of Mirabell and her early trust in him eventually foils her husband's plot.
  4. Mrs.Marwood secretly yearns for Mirabell and in some confusion of love and spite reveals Mirabell's schemes to Lady Wishfort.

Congreve handles these complex intrigues and manoeuvres in a masterly way, family society and human relationships are intertwined and Congreve demonstrates psychology as relevant today as in 1700. In love, sex and the search for power, material wealth and self understanding, Congreve's characters fill the stage with life and with an undying exposure of human frailties and the way of the world.

The Castplayed by:
MirabellJim Smith
FainallPhilip De Grouchy
BettyAngela Stansbridge
Servant to MirabellBob Wilson
WitwoudColin Hullock
PetulantKen Hann
Mrs. FainallCarol Pierce
Mrs. MarwoodAnn Archer
Mrs. MillamantSheana Carrington
Mincing, woman to Mrs. MillamantAvril Woodward
Waitwell, servant to MirabellGraham Buchanan
Foible, woman to Lady WishfortMary Harrison
Lady WishfortMollie Manns
Peg, maidservant to Lady WishfortSandy White
FootmanBrian Stansbridge
Sir Wilfull WitwoudGeoffrey Wharam

For the Maskers: 
DirectorRoy Tabor
Assistant to the DirectorShieila Clark
Technical DirectorRon Tillyer
Stage ManagerJoy Wingfield
Wardrobe assistantsGill Buchanan, Kay Hann
Property mistressLilian Gunstone
Make-upDaphne Rothwell
SoundGeoff Grandy
Set designKen Spencer
Set constructionJohn Riggs, Eric Street
Lighting designDerek Jones
Business and PublicityGraham Buchanan
Costumes byBristol Old Vic
Wigs byWig Creations (London)

Click on an image to enlarge it

Angela Stansbridge and Sandy White
Angela Stansbridge, Sandy White and Brian Stansbridge
Carol Pierce
Carol Pierce
Jim Smith
Ken Hann
Ken Hann and Fop
Ken Hann
Mary Harrison
Mollie Manns
Mollie Manns
Mollie Manns
Mollie Manns
Mollie Manns
Philip De Grouchy, Angela Stansbridge and Jim Smith
Geoffrey Wharam
Geoffrey Wharam
Geoffrey Wharam and Fop
Sheana Carrington
Sheana Carrington
Sandy White, Graham Buchanan and Mary Harrison (Elliot?)
Sheana Carrington, Anne Archer, Carol Peirce (now Clark)
Mollie Manns
Mollie Manns

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Established 1968

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