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Vanity Fair: An (In-)Mortality Play

Vanity Fair: An (In-)Mortality Play
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: William Makepeace Thackeray
Adapted by: Kate Hamill
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 113
Pub. Date: 2018
ISBN-10: ‎ 0822237997
ISBN-13: 9780822237990
Cast Size: 2 female, 5 male (doubling, flexible casting)

About the Play:

Vanity Fair is a full-length drama adapted for the stage by Kate Hamill, based on the novel by William Makepeace Thackeray. Ambitious Becky Sharp, poor, plain, and devilishly clever, may not have been born with wealth or status, but she's determined to attain both-at any cost. Armed with fierce wit and calculating charm, Becky forges her own path through London's high society, dealing herself into a game she was never invited to play.

Vanity Fair follows the life of Becky Sharp, who is poor but clever, and uses risky romantic entanglements, shady business practices, and social climbing to secure her position in 19th century British society – an environment that values good birth and good manners over skill. Becky is "bad." Amelia is "good." But in an unfair world, it isn't always that simple…. Two women – one born into privilege, another straight from the streets – attempt to navigate a society that punishes them for every misstep. Clever Becky's not afraid to break the rules; soft-hearted Amelia's scared to bend them. Both strive for what they want – but neither can thrive without the other. Through Becky and Amelia's victories and losses, this thrilling, highly theatrical (im)morality play explores how flexible our morals can become when the wheel of fortune turns…Bold, wickedly funny, and shockingly relevant, Vanity Fair demands that we face our own hypocrisy. After all…who are we to judge?

Vanity Fair premiered in 2017 at the Pearl Theatre off-Broadway in New York City and enjoyed and extended run. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres across the US and has been mounted by high schools, colleges, and community theatres.

Cast: 2 female, 5 male (doubling, flexible casting)

What people say:

"[Vanity Fair] is a gift to actors and a goody bag for its audience. …This play provides a rare thing – a female character who behaves just as badly as the male ones without being reformed or punished." — The New York Times

"…coruscatingly brilliant… Hamill's Vanity Fair…[is] a masterpiece of creative compression that is at once arrestingly original and faithful to its source material… [it's] a dead-serious romp whose implicit feminism has been given a sharper point by Hamill…." — Wall Street Journal

"…above all it's the canny script of Hamill that shines. She captures the sweep of the novel and its many ideas with spot-on choices." — Huffington Post

"…scandalous, relentless and heartbreaking…bound to impress even the most loyal of Thackeray fans. …one of the most intriguing adaptations of a novel I have ever seen… the plot is saturated with such vigor and life. …[Vanity Fair] brings the essence of the novel in all its glory to the stage." —

About the Playwright:

William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863) was a British novelist, author and illustrator. He is known for his satirical works, particularly his 1848 novel Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of British society.

Kate Hamill is an American actress and playwright. As playwright, she is known for her innovative, contemporary adaptations of classic novels for the stage, including Sense and Sensibility (in which she originated the role of Marianne) and Pride and Prejudice (in which she originated the role of Lizzy Bennet).