Comedies don’t some any more classic, or more brilliantly constructed, than J.B. Priestley’s When We Are Married.
It’s been a staple of theatres, both amateur and professional, since it was first performed almost 80 years ago.
Now the play is being revived by the talented team at Rugby Theatre, under the direction of Senga Veasey.
And she’s brought together a cast of Henry Street regulars and enthusiastic newcomers for the Yorkshire rib-tickler, which opens for an eight-performance run on Saturday (September 16).
The plot is both simple and perfectly conceived.
The year is 1908 and three highly-respectable couples in a small West Riding town are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, having all married in the same chapel on the same day.
The smug complacency of these northern worthies – an alderman and town councillor among them – takes a terrible knock however when the despised la-di-da southerner of a chapel organist produces incontrovertible evidence that the cleric who married them wasn’t authorised to do so.
Technically, they have spent the last quarter of a century living in sin.
Senga says: “Initially, each couple reacts with proper Victorian horror – what will the neighbours think?
“But then they find themselves re-evaluating their marriages, while the local paper’s alcohol-soaked photographer records the evening's events for posterity and a cheeky housekeeper uses the unexpectedly turn of events to her own advantage.
“The panic, bluster and collapse of stout-parties that ensue are a joy to behold.
“It’s a wonderful piece with some marvellous characters – and I’m so happy to be putting the play on in Rugby.”
The show opens on Saturday, and runs until the following Saturday, September 23. Tickets for are available from the Rugby Theatre box office on 01788 541234, or the website, www.rugbytheatre.co.uk.