Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Constant Wife

Last night I attended the Griffin Theater Company production of The Constant Wife, a comedy written by W. Somerset Maugham. The play was a delight from start to finish with particularly good performances by Vanessa Greenway as Constance Middleton (the wife of the title) and Kate Harris as her mother. Maugham crafted a play about what in the mid 1920's must have been a bit less common than now, the new independent woman.
With delicious biting wit and delightful intrigue the play had me laughing about the foibles of Constance's doctor husband who was having an affair with her airhead of a best friend (played with an authentic air of frantic style by Stacie Barra). Through all the commotion of this Constance maintains a cool rational perspective, refreshingly in a play where she is surrounded by women who are almost caricatures of various female types. She truly portrays the epitome of a "constant wife". The production was well done from the set and music to the period costumes.
It was an evening where the laughter was consistent enough to make my theater companion forget all about her sore ankle. If the other plays of Maugham are as much fun I can easily understand how he once had four plays running simultaneously on the London stage.

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