Restoration comedy among Hostry Festival’s mix of shows

17:11 27 October 2014

The Country Wife in rehearsal for the Hostry Festival. Jo Reil as Margery Pinchwife and Peter Barrow as Mr Pinchwife. Photo: Bill Smith

The Country Wife in rehearsal for the Hostry Festival. Jo Reil as Margery Pinchwife and Peter Barrow as Mr Pinchwife. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant � 2014

A bawdy Restoration comedy from the time of Charles II is the headline show at this year’s Hansells Hostry Festival.

William Wycherley’s play The Country Wife opens at Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry tomorrow and is being performed every night until Saturday.

Performed by a mix of both professional and amateur actors, the show pokes fun at the humourless, the jealous and the adventurous alike.

It features a country wife whose husband believes she is too naive to cuckold him – or is she?

“It’s a bawdy Restoration comedy, really fast and really witty,” said Peter Beck, who is directing the show.

“The show was quite controversial in its day – it talks about the so-called virtuous society which was actually pretty lewd behind the scenes. It was making a social comment about people who pretended they were pure and innocent.”

The Country Wife was first performed in 1675 by the King’s Company at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in London.

It was just 15 years after the theatres – closed by the Puritans for 18 years – were reopened following the restoration of King Charles II.

But the show was later banished from the stage for many years.

“Recently there have been a lot of revivals of The Country Wife, and we are doing ours in a very traditional way with big Charles II wigs and costumes,” said Mr Beck.

The Country Wife is at Norwich Cathedral’s Hostry from tomorrow until Saturday Performances at 7.30pm each night.
Tickets £15 (£12 concs). To book call 01603 598676.

Hansells Hostry Festival runs until November 2.

For details of all the festival events visit


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Eastern Daily Press visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Eastern Daily Press staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Eastern Daily Press account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Most Read

Featured Pages

Most Commented

Latest from the EDP



max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the EDP
digital edition


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter