She Stoops to Conquer

Written by Oliver Goldsmith
Directed for Actonians by Janet Lewis


She Stoops to Conquer is a comedy by Oliver Goldsmith, first performed in 1773. The play is a great favourite for study by English literature classes in Britain.

In essence, the play is a farce, full of misunderstandings.

The hero is Charles Marlow, a wealthy young man who is being forced by his family to consider a potential bride whom he has never met. He is anxious about meeting her, because he suffers from shyness and can only behave naturally with women of a lower class. He sets out with a friend to travel to the home of his prospective in-laws, the Hardcastles, but they become lost on the road.

While the bride-to-be is awaiting his arrival, her half-brother, Tony Lumpkin (one of literature's great comic characters), while out riding, comes across the two strangers, and, realising their identity, plays a practical joke by telling them that they are a long way from their destination and will have to stay overnight at an inn. The "inn" he directs them to is in fact the home of his parents. When they arrive, their hosts, who have been expecting them, go out of their way to make them welcome. However, the two men, believing themselves in a hostelry, behave rudely.

Meanwhile, Tony's sister, Kate, learning of the error and also acquainted with her suitor's shyness, masquerades as a serving-maid in order to get to know him. He falls in love with her and plans to elope with her. Needless to say, all misunderstandings are sorted out in the end, and Charles and Kate live happily ever after.


Tony Lumpkin Bob Allen
Mr Hardcastle John Adams
Mrs Hardcastle Kathie Dowson
Miss Hardcastle Sarah Atkins
Miss Neville Di Buck
Mr Marlow Tim Wrighton
Mr Hastings Mike Wills
Sir Charles Marlow Alan Irons
Landlady Pat Stimson
Maid Christine Rogers
Roger Danny Rogers
Diggory Colin Chivers
Pimple Gaelle Chivers
Other parts
Pete Lawry
Gaelle Chivers
Colin Chivers
Danny Rogers
Christine Rogers
Alan Irons
Stage Manager Donna Worrall
ASM Jim Sinkinson
Gerry Millward
Lesley Keetley
Pete Lawry
Lesley Keetley
Costumes Pat Stimson
Properties Lesley Irons
Prompt Gaynor Clark
Front of House
Ann Aplin
Rachel Tillotson
Business Manager Anne Chenery