The Rover

by Aphra Behn

directed by Peter White

Performed at

Mottisfont Abbey


21st to 30th July 1988

Aphra Behn (1640-89)

Aphra Behn was an English playwright, novelist and poet. Her position as England’s first professional authoress has overshadowed her genuine abilities as a dramatist. She was brought up in Guiana, where her father was lieutenant-governor. In England she married a wealthy Dutch merchant, but by 1666 was reduced to a state of penniless widowhood. After this she worked for a time as a government spy in the Low Countries, though her only reward appears to have been a period of imprisonment for debt. After her release, Aphra Behn turned to writing to support herself and in the eighteen years from 1671 produced fifteen plays, as well as novels and poetry.

Her most successful dramatic work was The Rover (1677) and the comedy was frequently revived during the following century. Much of Aphra Behn’s work has been criticised for its coarseness, but it is important to see this as a reflection of a quite extraordinarily coarse age. It would be fairer to view her as a fiercely independent spirit and writer of real talent and warmth, the first woman playwright to live by her own lights and make her way in a man’s profession.

Cast (in order of appearance)
Belville Brian Stansbridge
Frederick Iain Coleman
Blunt John Souter
Willmore John Carrington Jnr
Lucetta Hazel Burrows
Sancho Alan Watson
Florinda Catherine Nolan
Valeria Siân Turner
Hellena Philippa Venn
Don Pedro Jim Smith
Stephano Huw Thomas
Callis Sheana Carrington
Angellica Bianca Ros Liddlard
Moretta Meri Lawther
Sebastian Matty West
Biskey Derek Sealey
Don Antonio Malcolm Brown
Diego Andrew Burrows
Philippo David Bartlett
The Carnival
Matador Heidi Sheehan
Bull Alan Watson
Dancer Loo White
‘Roses’ Maria Hutchings, Sophie Price, Angela Stansbridge
with Mary Andrade, Georgina Bance, Miriam Bance, Jane Britt, Janet Cairney, Julia Campone, Emma Carington, Gemma Crane, Claire Dobson, Robert Dobson, Emma Jacobs, Susannah Lawther, Davey McKee, Debbie Moorehouse, Adrian Pike, Vicky Rickman, Jane Sealy, Amy Stansbride, Tom Stansbridge, Jan Ward, Kate Ward, Samantha Wareham, Alice Watson, Ellen Watson, Jenni Watson, Lucy White, Becky White
The Musicians Siobhan Nelson, Chris Nelson, Chris Monks, Milton Grimleigh
For the Maskers:
Director Peter White
Production assistant Hazel Burrows
Stage Manager Angela Barks
Assisted by Sue Cunningham
Properties Ella Lockett
Special Properties Peter Liddiard
Lighting Tony Lawther, Clive Weeks
Sound Anthony Baldery
Pyrotechnics Mike Jones
Circus Techniques Andrew Harris
Photography Hilary Bowen




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Established 1968

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