Evelina

A young ingénue from rustic Dorset, Evelina finds herself in the midst of the sophisticated beau monde and social minefield of 18th century London. She is extremely beautiful and is pursued by many admirers, suitable and unsuitable. The story is complicated by the fact that no-one knows who she really is. This threatens to stop her marrying the man she really loves, the honourable and handsome Lord Orville.  

Adapted from a novel written more than 200 years ago, the themes are of timeless relevance.  Evelina has no parents at the beginning of the play: her mother is dead and her father has rejected her. Part of her quest is to be known by her father, to be acknowledged by him, to be a somebody as opposed to a nobody ; throughout the play she is frequently taunted with this vicious slur. 

Evelina had its first airing as a rehearsed reading on 13 June 2002, the 250th anniversary of the birth of Fanny Burney, at Dr Johnson's House off Fleet Street. The reading took place. She was introduced to Johnson by her father, the musician and writer Dr Charles Burney. The actual novel Evelina was written during the reign of George III, to whose consort, Queen Charlotte, Burney was for some years second keeper of the robes.  Johnson was full of praise for the novel and commented: “…there were passages in it which might do honour to Richardson ”.

Directed by Kate Glover at the Pentameters theatre in Hampstead in March 2004, Evelina was very well received:

  • "Kate Glover's engaging production...nice period costumes and  very strong performances"  Robert Shore, Time Out

  • "...this excellent adaptation by Kate Glover...Lavish costumes and elegant courtly dances beautifully invoke the manners and the times.  Historia Theatre Company...certainly get it right."  Julia Hickman, Theatreworld Internet Magazine

  • "A triumph...the end result is witty, informative and wonderfully theatrical"  Paul Anthony-Barber, UK Theatre Network

Cast:

Evelina……………………………………………………………...………Sophie Trott
Lord Orville………………………………….…………………...…………..Tom Sykes
Sir Clement Willoughby……………………….………………....…………Lenny Peters
Mr Lovel; Tom……………………………………….…………..……….Mark Holman
Madame Duval; Mrs Selwyn…………………………………....………Brenda Dowsett 
Mr McCartney; Mr Smith…………………………………….…......Gregory McFarnon
Sir John Belmont; Mr Branghton……………………….....……………William Maxwell
Mrs Mirvan; Biddy; Mrs Beaumont; a lady of the night ..…....………….….Naomi Sachs
Polly; Maria; Miss Belmont; Lady Louisa Larpent; a lady of the night........…Hester Rugg

WRITER/DIRECTOR…….………………………………………..….........Kate Glover

© 2017/2018 Kerstin Mason for Design, Photos by Val Dimir, Content provided by Historia Theatre Company

© 2018 photos for "Dear Chocolate Soldier" where marked " *) " after description were provided by Paddy Gormley

© 2019 photos for "Dear Chocolate Soldier" from St. Hugh's Oxford performance were provided by Frederick Appleby

We sometimes use photos and other material from external sources; in these cases credits will be shown.

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