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The Provoked Wife

Written by John Vanbrugh
Directed by Briony Waite

14 Nov 2017 to 25 Nov 2017
Kings Weston House, Bristol BS11 0UR

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'Women must have frolics, you see, whatever they cost 'em'

London 1698
Lord Rake and Colonel Bully are drinking the night away again. Their Ladyships and the maids are scheming and intriguing about love as usual, but nothing is quite what it seems. The French maid's real name is Thomas, and Sir John Brute is running around London in his wife's dress. Truly, Puritanism is out of fashion ...

Playwright and architect Sir John Vanbrugh's rollicking Restoration comedy, in a new updated, site specific and immersive version set in the glorious baroque surroundings of Kings Weston House, the great Bristol mansion that Vanbrugh himself designed.

300 years of What the Critics Said ...

1698 ...
'The Provok'd Wife furnishes the Audience with a Drunken Atheistical Catch: 'Tis true this Song is afterwards said to be Full of Sin and Impudence. But why then was it made?'
Jeremy Collier, A Short History of the Immorality and Profaneness of the English Stage

1917 ...
'I do not care for unexpurgated dialogue in the presence of women,'
J. T. Grein, Sunday Times

2014 ...
'This is a comedy, and a funny one at that. Despite being written over three hundred years ago, the humour is still entirely relatable, most likely due to a combination of Vanbrugh's witty writing and the eternal subject of love.'
Rachel Seymour, York Vision

Show photos


Frederick Arnot - Pipe/Rasor/Lord Rake/Porter/Justice
Sam Dugmore - Thomas Smith/Tailor
Samuel Griffiths - Heartfree/Captain Bully
Stephanie Manton - Belinda (Lady Brute's niece)
Ashley Scott - Constant
Sadie Tonks - Lady Brute
Tessa Wood - Lady Fancyfull/Constable
Nick Wymer - Sir John Brute

Immersive Kings Weston House Cast

Mark Breckon - Lord Neddy Southwell
Julie Cawte - Lady Ladida
Cher Douglas - Lady Southwell number 1
Charlie Ekpaloba - Charlotte - a servant
Samuel Grasshoff - Blackbeard
Chrissie Harmer - Christine, a servant
Steve Hennessy - Lady Dichotomy
Jane Peters - Jane, a servant
Gareth Pitt - Sir John Vanbrugh
Emma Stadon - Lady Southwell number 2
Li Sah Stuart - Lady Uppity
Charles Thompson - Lord Misrule
Anne Wilson - Blackbeardy


Briony Waite - Director
Charles Thompson - Assistant Director
Plug Stage Productions - Sound and Lighting
Paul Lewis and Team - Operator
Ann Stiddard - Graphic Design
Penn O'Gara - Designer/Costumes
Colin Smith - Piano/Original Music
John Telfer - Additional Music
Joshua Ben-Tovim - Choreography


"This clever production is not only fabulous to look at and very funny, it manages to remind us of the kind of 'English' values best left behind. We're still working on some of them."
 Crysse Morrison, Plays International


Stepping Out Theatre
13 Creedwell Orchard

Registered Charity (CIO) 1179310 (since July 2018), Formerly Charity 1117912 (since February 2007)

m. 07896 684097

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