What links a local mansion, a comedy and a playwright?
This November Kings Weston House is host to a comedy written by the playwright who designed the building.
Stepping Out Theatre is offering a dry look at marriage this November when it brings its unique immersive production of ‘The Provoked Wife’ to the beautiful setting of 18th century mansion, Kings Weston House, on the outskirts of Bristol.
A Heritage Lottery Fund project, the play is being performed from 14thto 25thNovember in the very house that the playwright himself designed. ‘The Provoked Wife’,1697, is one of several plays Sir John Vanbrugh wrote before he switched careers and became an architect instead. Kings Weston House is one of his designs, as is Blenheim Palace.
Audience members will be treated to an immersive piece of theatre that uses the magnificent house at the core of the performance. Before the play has even begun,arriving guests will take in the splendour of this house, with its magnificent ceilings, marble fireplaces and stunning suspended central staircase.
The play has been given a modern treatment in keeping with the spirit of the original. Audiences can expect a sumptuous blend of baroque and Latin American music, which director Briony Waite says ‘go surprisingly well together’. The costumes, based on Restoration clothes, have been given a touch of spice to lend a party feel.Imagine lots of frothy lace and tulle to reflect Vanbrugh‘s interior at Kings Weston House.
Sir John Vanbrugh believed that,
the stage is a glass for the world to view itself in; people ought therefore to see themselves as they are; if it makes their faces too fair, they won’t know they are dirty, and by consequence will neglect to wash ‘em.So people can enjoy an entertaining and wry look at themselves via the cast of actors who will be holding up the figurative mirrors.
What cloying meat is love when matrimony‘s the sauce to it?
On Saturday 18thNovember there is a gala dinner with a surprise celebrity guest. Guests can enjoy a Restoration‐themed sit down meal in the Baroque dining room at 5.30pm. Tickets for this cost just £30 and can be tied in with either the matinee or evening performance.
Bristol’s Central Library is also running an exhibition throughout November giving insight into the history of Vanbrugh and Kings Weston House. Some of the actors from the show will be staffing this.
The production is from acclaimed theatre company Stepping Out Theatre. The theatre group is a charity that helps people experiencing mental illness. Founded in 1997, the company has helped thousands of mental health service users, empowering them to connect with the arts and the wider community. The productions feature a mix of professional actors and talented service users.
Patron Mark Rylance says:
If you want to hear something true, go and hear what Stepping Out Theatre are saying.
Tickets for the play are £12 or £10 for concessions. The gala dinner on 18thNovember is £30 ‐ tickets for the matinee or evening performance need to be bought separately. To buy tickets and for further information visit the websitewww.steppingouttheatre.co.uk