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She Stoops to Conquer

She Stoops to Conquer
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Oliver Goldsmith
Publisher: Baker's Plays
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 64
Pub. Date: 2005
ISBN-10: 0874405769
ISBN-13: 9780874405767
Cast Size: 3 women, 11 men, plus extras

About the Play:

She Stoops to Conquer is a full-length comedy by Oliver Goldsmith. Pranks and hijinks abound in this raucous 18th-century classic. Two well-bred young men arrive at the country estate of Mr. Hardcastle, intending to woo his daughter Kate and her cousin Constance, but when local mischief-maker Tony Lumpkin plays a practical joke on the city slickers, the Hardcastle household is launched into a dizzying, deliciously preposterous romp of mistaken identity.

She Stoops to Conquer is one of the great, generous-hearted and ingenious comedies of the English language and offers a celebration of chaos, courtship and the dysfunctional family. Wealthy countryman Mr. Hardcastle arranges for his daughter Kate to meet a wealthy London gentleman named Charles Marlow, hoping the pair will marry. But confusion runs riot when a trick played by the mischievous stepson of Mr. Hardcastle, Tony Lumpkin, causes Marlow and his friend Hastings to mistake the family’s charming country home for a public inn and Mr. Hardcastle as a lowly innkeeper. Further complications are caused by the fact that Marlow's self-confidence waxes and wanes depending on the social station of the woman he is with, He is painfully shy, awkward, and tongue-tied around upper-class women and overly familiar with lower-class women. Realizing her suitor prefers lower-class women, Kate must "stoop to conquer" her man by pretending to be a barmaid in order to put him at ease and help him connect with his own heart – and hers. The resulting mess combines slapstick with perfectly-phrased wit to create a uniquely comedic brew.

She Stoops To Conquer is as fresh, funny and joyous today as when it was first performed in 1773. This drawing room comedy has been a favourite with regional, middle school, high school, community theatre companies and their audiences for over 200 years.

Cast: 3 women, 11 men, plus extras

What people say:

"Oliver Goldsmith's comedy was a milestone: yes, it's fast and funny, almost farcical at times, a great night out, and so on, but it's also a psychological masterpiece written at the time when English society began its stately progress towards its admirable class system." — Sunday Times

"A bombproof comedy...Oliver Goldsmith's play is about the clash between town and country, between varying degrees of pretension." — The Times

"...Goldsmith's themes of class and snobbery unfold with delicious clarity." — The Guardian

About the Playwright:

Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) was an Irish poet, playwright, novelist, and journalist. His youth gave little promise of his future achievements. After attending Trinity College, Dublin, he abandoned plans to be ordained. He thought of emigrating to America but missed his ship. He then briefly studied medicine before travelling through Europe, partially supporting himself by busking. On his return, he earned a meagre living by translating and reviewing; it was in this period that he emerged as an essayist of talent. His comedy She Stoops to Conquer (1773) has outlived the efforts of all his contemporaries.