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The Rivals


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About The Rivals

By Richard Brinsley Sheridan
Directed by Peter Hall

It's 1775 and the fashionable world descends on Bath, to take the waters, show off their finery, enjoy the gossip and pursue romance. Amongst them are some of the most extraordinary comic characters to grace the stage: the verbally misguided Mrs Malaprop, her absurdly romantic niece, Lydia Languish, the blinkered Sir Anthony Absolute, the blustering Irishman Sir Lucius O'Trigger and the bumpkin Bob Acres. Throughout the course of a single day these suitors and schemers and their servants indulge in an assortment of hilariously extravagant intrigues before everyone is paired off to their own satisfaction.

Much-loved actress Penelope Keith plays Mrs Malaprop. Her previous theatre  work includes Entertaining Angels, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Relatively Speaking and Blithe Spirit and The Good Life on television.

Peter Bowles is one of Britain's most distinguished actors whose starring roles on television include The Bounder and The Irish RM. Previous theatre credits include Separate Tables, School For Wives, The Misanthrope, Major Barbara and most recently The Browning Version and Swansong directed by Peter Hall.

Penelope Keith and Peter Bowles starred together in one of the most watched British sitcoms of all time, To the Manor Born. The love-hate relationship between the formidable Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton and the dashing Richard DeVere boasted viewing figures of many millions and they reunited in 2007 for a one-off television special. The Rivals will see them sparring together on stage for the first time.null