A new production of Sheridan’s classic comedy of mannersThe Rivals directed by Peter Hall and starring Penelope Keith as Mrs Malaprop and Peter Bowles as Sir Anthony Absolute is at Malvern Theatres from Monday, November 25.
It’s 1775 and the fashionable world descends on Bath, to take the waters, show off their finery, enjoy the gossip and pursue romance.Amongst them are some of the most extraordinary comic characters to grace the stage: the verbally misguided Mrs Malaprop, her absurdly romantic niece, Lydia Languish, the blinkered Sir Anthony Absolute, the blustering Irishman Sir Lucius O’Trigger and the bumpkin Bob Acres. Throughout the course of a single day these suitors and schemers and their servants indulge in an assortment of hilariously extravagant intrigues before everyone is paired off to their own satisfaction.
Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles starred together in one of the most watched British sitcoms of all time, To the Manor Born. The love-hate relationship between the formidable Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton and the dashing Richard DeVere boasted viewing figures of many millions and in 2007 they reunited for a one-off television special. The Rivals will see them sparring together on stage for the first time.
The Rivals is at Malvern Theatres from Monday, November 25 to Saturday, November 30. Tickets are available from 01684 892277 or at malvern-theatres.co.uk