ESP to Present DANDY DICK Reading, 9/9
ESP comes around the curve and into summer's final stretch with Pinero's 1887 horse-racing farce, DAndy Dick! With two impetuous daughters both on the brink of matrimony,the Very Reverend Augustin Jedd is in need of a bit of dowry enhancement... So, even though he's a staunch disapprover of the racing game, when his sometime-do-well sisterGeorgiana Tidd, the "daisy of the turf," shows up with a supposedly sure thing -the horse of the play's title - the Very Reverend gets very interested, and he and his whole household go delightfully and British-ly bonkers!
The long tradition of seeing honorable figures like Augustin Jedd brought low, only to be rescued by luck and resourcefulness, didn't start with Pinero, of course, but this comedy isan excellent example of the form. Its unconventional heroine, Georgiana, swaggers as much or more as any of the men in the play, and the Jedd's two daughters, Salome and Sheba, seem precursors to Oscar Wilde's Cecily and Gwendolyn, who arrived a decade or more later.
GEORGIANA. Bless your little innocent faces! Do you want to win forty pounds?
SALOME AND SHEBA. Yes, yes!
GEORGIANA. Do you want to win fifty pounds?
SHEBA AND SALOME. Oh, yes, yes!
GEORGIANA. Very well, then, put your very petticoats on DAndy Dick!
Arthur Wing Pinero (1855-1934) was a titan of the late nineteenth and early-twentieth century British theatre; he was knighted for his services to drama in 1909. He was the author of the brilliant Trelawny of the 'Wells' - which ESP read in December of 2011 - as well as The Second Mrs Tanqueray, The Enchanted Cottage, and The Magistrate,which was a hit in London for John Lithgow in 2012.
DAndy Dick was revived in London in 1973 with Alastair Sim and Patricia Routledge, and again last season in Brighton, in a production that featured Patricia Hodge as Georgiana. In our immediate vicinity, the play was produced by the Empty Space in 1975, in a production that featured Jeff Steitzer, Diane Schenker, Lori Larsen, J.V. Bradley, andMartin La Platney.
The reading will take place at 7 p.m. Monday, September 9th at the Stage One Theatre at North Seattle Community College. Doors will open at 6:30.