The Royal Exchange Theatre played host to a production that has been given a new lease on life after being banned for nearly 200 years for its bawdiness, as The Country Wife arrived in Manchester.
While the audience files in and takes their seats, one of main characters calmly sits and applies his makeup.
And mysteriously, the theatre is filled with unusual plumbing for wine that freely flows from freestanding taps all around the stage.
But squeals and squeak ring out through the audience – before the show has even begun – as they’re splashed by the over enthusiastic juices that flow from the characters, be it from items of fruit or the wine!
Set in the 17th century it portrays the story of Harry Horner who charms his way in to the hearts and boudoirs of the ever respectable wives of London society by feigning impotence.
Newly arrived in town – with his ‘country wife’ Margery – Jack Pinchwife is jealous to the core and strains to keep his innocent spouse away from Harry Horner clutches.
Margery is desperate to savour all the pleasures the big city has to offer, but when Harry finally meets Margery, a collision course is set.
The performance includes many hilariously crude scenes which had the audience highly entertained.
At times it is a little drawn out in places but do stick with it as once the story unfolds it soon picks up the pace.
Watch out for Margery, played by Amy Morgan, who is making her first performance at the Royal Exchange and was the highlight of this production.