She Stoops to Conquer – Abbey Theatre – Review


She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

She Stoops to Conquer is heading towards its 240th anniversary since its first production in 1777 but in this revival she is as flighty as ever and certainly not showing any signs of age. It remains a classic well entitled to be revived. In this production from the moment the performance begins the audience is entertained both visually by the set which is grand at one level but with a certain degree of rustic charm and an eclectic five piece band who provide comic musical accompaniment. In jig time the audience is wrapped up in the deceptions, pretensions and prejudices of Goldsmith’s masterpiece as it is played out in a country inn which is in fact a private house.

Caroline Morahan as Miss Hardcastle has no difficulty with her shapely appearance in stooping to conquer the socially unsure young Mr. Marlow played convincingly by Marty Rea. They are ably assisted by the other members of the cast particularly David Pearse as Tony Lumpkin who in the second act entrances with a comic performance which is a privilege to behold. Rory Nolan as Mr. Hastings is suitably brash as he and Miss Neville, Janet Moran, strive to become amorously entangled. Early on the division between the delights of town and country is well defined by the set-in-his- ways Mr. Hardcastle played by a suitably bewildered Jon Kenny while Mrs Hardcastle,in the hands of Marion O’Dwyer, is an-over-the top avaricious socialite, who strives to be a control freak, but who ultimately is heading towards come uppance.

The Abbey is to be congratulated on reviving this gem of a play at Christmas time as the role of a country inn fits easily with the genre of many a Christmas card. This production captures the sheer fun of the various deceptions and deceits which are afoot. Christmas is the season to be merry and merriment is the word which comes to mind as best encapsulating this fun revival. It creates a great deal of good cheer. Go and enjoy the fun of it all. It is indeed the season to be merry.

Review by Frank L

She Stoops to Conquer runs at the Abbey Theatre until January 31st


Gary Crossan – Dick Muggins/Thomas
Lisa Fox – Bet Bouncer/Bridget
Manus Halligan – Tom Twist/Jeremy
Jon Kenny – Mr. Hardcastle
Mark Lambert – Sir Charles Marlow
Charlotte McCurry – Molly Slang/Pimple the Maid
Caroline Morahan – Miss Hardcastle
Janet Moran – Miss Neville
Sean Murphy – Aminadab/Diggory
Rory Nolan – Hastings
Marion O’Dwyer – Mrs. Hardcastle
David Pearse – Tony Lumpkin
Bryan Quinn – Jack Slang/Roger
Marty Rea – Young Marlow

Conall Morrison – Director
Liam Doona – Set designer
Joan O’Clery – Costume designer
Conor Linehan – Composer and Sound Designer
Ben Ormerod – Lighting Designer
Muirne Bloomer – Movement Director
Ronan Phelan – Additional Lyrics by
Ronan Phelan – Resident Assistant Director

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