The Country Wife

William Wycherley (1641 - 1716)

One of the most notorious Restoration comedies in existence, William Wycherley’s The Country Wife is a lively and riotous exploration of courtly and city life in the seventeenth century, which was rife with unremitting sexual intrigue and conquest. For the basis of his plot, Wycherley here borrows heavily from the work of Molière, but abandons the French master’s unity and economy by introducing several interlocking storylines and characters, all of them clamoring for attention amidst Wycherley’s hard-hitting colloquial dialogue and double entendres. The main plot follows the clever town rake Horner, who feigns impotence in order to seduce women of quality and cuckold their unwitting husbands. One woman who takes interest in him is Margery, a seemingly naive country girl married to the pathologically jealous Pinchwife. Her desire to pursue an illicit affair with Horner yields a multitude of complications and misunderstandings, many of which are left scandalously unresolved by the time the final line is spoken.

With startlingly frank explorations of gender dynamics, marital structures, female autonomy, misogyny, and seventeenth-century societal obligations, as well as an infamous “china scene” positively dripping with innuendo, The Country Wife remains a classic of its genre that continues to invite fresh and exciting interpretations with each new performance. - Summary by Tomas Peter

Horner: Tomas Peter
Harcourt: Son of the Exiles
Dorilant: MajorToast
Pinchwife: Scotty Smith
Sparkish: ToddHW
Sir Jasper Fidget: Nemo
Boy: Melanie Jensen
Quack: Alan Mapstone
Margery Pinchwife: Availle
Alithea, sister of Pinchwife: Leanne Yau
Lady Fidget / Bookseller: Beth Thomas
Dainty Fidget, sister of Sir Jasper: Foon
Mrs. Squeamish: Sonia
Old Lady Squeamish: Eva Davis
Lucy, Alithea's maid: TJ Burns

Narrator: Campbell Schelp
Editor: Tomas Peter

Genre(s): Comedy, Satire

Language: English

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 Act 1 Group 00:33:39
Play 02 Act 2 Group 00:35:32
Play 03 Act 3 Group 00:42:27
Play 04 Act 4 Group 00:56:29
Play 05 Act 5 Group 00:46:51