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Dr Rebecca Bailey reports on a very lively theatre trip to see ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ at Cheltenham Everyman Theatre.

Theatre enthusiasts from across the English course enjoyed a wonderful evening at the Cheltenham Everyman last week when Northern Broadsides gave a sparkling performance of Oliver Goldsmith’s exuberant comedy, ‘She Stoops to Conquer’.  

Tony Lumpkin, played by Jon Trenchard, stole the show with an irrepressible eighteenth-century zaniness – creating the outrageous ‘mistakes of the night’ before deftly offering resolution. The costumes were fabulous, embodied by Mrs Hardcastle’s wild orange wig and ludicrous leopard print Georgian gown, which perfectly matched Gilly Tomkin’s brilliant portrayal of an outlandish, overly-protective mother. Equally impressive were the musical interludes which deftly enhanced the performance and added to the jollity of the occasion. 

Many thanks to Sally-ann Rhodes at the Everyman for being so patient and helpful in arranging this event which whetted the theatrical appetites of over twenty five students. Personally, I think this is quite possibly one of the best performances we have seen at the Everyman. 
Undoubtedly, it’s a huge boon for an English Literature department to have such excellent live theatre right on our doorstep. I am sure that this performance of She Stoops to Conquer will prove central to our discussion of this text, next semester, on HM5305: Staging the Cultural Moment.

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