Michael J. Farrand

SPARKISH

Adapted from William Wycherley's restoration comedy The Country Wife.

". . some of the most salaciously funny scenes and speeches known to dramatic literature."
Time

SYNOPSIS

That 'lewd rake-hell' Harry Horner, up to no good, has spread word that he is 'no man' so the cuckolds-to-be will let him at their wives. While that foppish 'wretch below injury', Master Sparkish, must keep 'true wits' Horner and that 'bubbling rogue' Harcourt, away from his 'seraphic lady', (and from 'disparaging his parts'). ‘Tis a wicked, censorious world we live in, foh!

CHARACTERS

MASTER HORNER: libertine who allows himself to be certified as impotent in order to prey on society ladies.

MASTER HARCOURT: a friend of Horner's, and thereby privy to his sexual intriques, who falls for Alithea but must rival Sparkish for her love.

MASTER PINCHWIFE: the reformed libertine who 'could never keep a whore' successfully, keeps close watch on his young 'country wife' Margery, even locking her up on occassion, to save her from the depredations of other men, though he trusts her with the apparently impotent Horner.

MASTER SPARKISH: a shallow fop who pursues Alithea not out of passion or lust but because he thinks it the fashionable thing to do, prides himself on his wit, and being a 'man of parts'.

MRS. MARGERY PINCHWIFE: the good-humored, unspoiled country wife, devoid of hypocrisy, who learns to take advantage of the pleasures and intriques of London town life, particularly with the help of aristocratic rake Horner, and plots to outwit her husband because he's unreasonably possessive.

MRS. ALITHEA: a young lady wooed by Harcourt, she delights in hoodwinking her other suitor, the fop Sparkish.

Sir Jasper Fidget

My Lady Fidget

Mrs. Dainty Fidget

Mrs. Squeamish

SHARED ROLES: Margery Pinchwife and Mrs. Dainty Fidget, and Mrs. Alithea and Mrs. Squeamish.

SETTING

ACT I: London
  1. Horner’s lodging
  2. A room in Pinchwife’s house
  3. A room in Pinchwife’s house
  4. The New Exchange

ACT II: London
  1. Pinchwife’s house in the morning
  2. A bedchamber in Pinchwife’s house
  3. Horner’s lodging
  4. A room in Pinchwife’s house
  5. Horner’s lodging
  6. The Piazza of Covent Garden
  7. Horner’s lodging

"It is a brilliant play."
Brooks Atkinson
New York Times

© 1997 by Michael J. Farrand

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