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Lettice and Lovage

Lettice and Lovage
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Peter Shaffer
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 114
Pub. Date: 1990
ISBN-10: 0573692599
ISBN-13: 9780573692598
Cast Size: 3 female, 2 male and extras

About the Play:

Lettice and Lovage has become a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues.

Lettice and Lovage is a full-length comedy by Peter Shaffer. The story centers around two main characters: Lettice, a flamboyant historical tour guide with a bad habit of embellishing the truth, and her fact-conscious superior Lotte. Set in England, Lettice and Lovage is a great comedic character study of opposites.

Lettice and Lovage explores how two mature ladies from different pasts come together as frenemies involved in two-women historical recreations. Lettice Douffet, an expert on Elizabethan cuisine and medieval weaponry, is one of those rare individuals who does things with her whole being involved – whether or not it's the truth. Lettice sees life as half full, goes to the beat of her own drum, and believes that it is her duty to "enliven" any boring event or interaction with creativity and imagination. As a tour guide at Fustian House, one of the least interesting of London's stately homes, she theatrically embellishes its historical past. She turns a minor incident on the staircase, involving Queen Elizabeth and the hem of her elaborate gown, into an epic romantic saga. However, she ultimately coming up on the radar of Lotte Schoen, a no-nonsense inspector from the Preservation Trust that employs her. Neither impressed or entertained by Lettice's freewheeling history lessons, Schoen calls Lettice to her office and fires her. Not one however, to go without a fight, Lettice engages the stoic, conventional Lotte in battle to the death of all that is sacred to the Empire and the crown. As the dismissal interview progresses, they uncover common ground with the result that she and Lotte develop an unlikely friendship. Lettice and Lovage explores themes of authenticity, tradition, and the power of friendship, all wrapped up in a humorous and heartwarming play written by Peter Shaffer, an English playwright known for works such as Amadeus and Equus.

Lettice and Lovage was specifically written for Dame Maggie Smith who originated the role of Lettice in both the play's 1987 debut at London's Globe Theater (its two-year run was as one of the longer runs in London theatrical history) and its subsequent 1990 Broadway run at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, winning the 1990 Tony Award for Best Actress in a play. Since then the play has been produced widely at colleges and community theatres.

Cast: 3 female, 2 male and extras

What people say:

"An evening of enchantment and delight." — New York Post

"Hilarious." — USA Today

"Whatever else Lettice and Lovage may or may not be, the Peter Shaffer play is a great gift for two actresses." — Los Angeles Times

"More than just a character-driven piece about an unlikely relationship, Peter Shaffer's articulate, touching comedy is about finding beauty in a dreary world, and about the hunger for whimsy and romance which lurks within even the most bleak of souls." — Backstage

"A celebration of the imagination, a celebration of the art of the theatre." — New York Daily News

"One of the sharpest, wittiest, most passionate and elegant plays of the year." — Sunday Express

About the Playwright:

Sir Peter Levin Shaffer, CBE (1926-2016) was an English playwright and screenwriter. He is familiar to North American audiences as the author of Amadeus and Equus, two of the most successful plays of the postwar era, and of a string of other award-winning plays, several of which have been turned into films.

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