The Rivals | Arcola Theatre

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Arcola Theatre

The Rivals

by Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Directed by Selina Cadell

‘Through all the drama — whether damned or not —
Love gilds the scene, and women guide the plot.’

When Town meets Country in the summer streets of Bath, Society begins to play. Duels, duplicities and secret disguises abound. At the centre of it all is Lydia Languish, determined to marry a penniless man for love. But first she must contend with the formidable Mrs Malaprop, whose devastating blunders are infamous…

The sparkling wit and whirlwind plot of The Rivals has delighted audiences for 240 years. This brand new production reinvigorates Sheridan’s masterpiece with modern touches and theatrical flair. It is the first time the Arcola has staged late Restoration comedy.

Selina Cadell, last seen in the National Theatre productions of People and The Habit of Art, has directed acclaimed versions of The Way of the World and The Importance of Being Earnest. For this classic comedy, her cast includes Gemma Jones (Bridget Jones’s Diary, Sense and Sensibility) as Mrs Malaprop and Nicholas Le Prevost (Shakespeare in Love, My Fair Lady) as Sir Anthony Absolute.

★★★★★ “Gemma Jones and Nicholas Le Prevost … a delight to behold.” WhatsOnStage

★★★★ “Splendidly conveyed by a high-class ensemble of actors.” Evening Standard

★★★★ “A blast. It’ll send you out into the night with a silly smile on your face.” Time Out

★★★★ “A delight” The Stage

★★★★★ “A beautifully crafted production that brings Sheridan’s masterpiece back onto the stage in an explosion of love, confusion, passion and laughter.” The Public Reviews

★★★★★ “A wonderful show in the most perfect setting.” LondonTheatre1

Monday – Saturday evenings at 7.30pm – £18 (£14 concessions)

Opening Performances (15 – 18 October) – all tickets £12

Saturday matinees at 3.00pm – £16 Matinees (£12 concessions)

Pay What You Can Tuesdays (28 October, 4 & 11 November): tickets in person from 6.30pm – limited and subject to availability

Running time is approximately 2hrs 55mins including an interval.


Gemma Jones

Mrs Malaprop

Nicholas Le Prevost

Sir Anthony Absolute

Iain Batchelor

Captain Jack Absolut

Adam Jackson-Smith


Justin Edwards

Bob Acres

Adrian McLoughlin

Sir Lucius O'Trigger/ Thomas

Carl Prekopp


Jenny Rainsford

Lydia Languish

Justine Mitchell

Julia Melvill

Hannah Stokely


Lily Cooper
Ed Phillips


Richard Brinsley Sheridan


Selina Cadell

Set Design

Emma Bailey

Costume Design

Rosalind Ebbutt

Lighting Design

Tom Boucher

Production Manager

William Newman

Stage Manager

Rachel Reeve

Assistant Director

Theo Scholefield

Musical Director

Eliza Thompson


Leah Curtis

Production and Casting Consultant

Clare Rich


Stuart Sweeting
Suitable for
24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London, E8 3DL
020 7503 1646

© 2017-18 Arcola Theatre.
Arcola Theatre Production Company is a registered charity no.1108613. Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England no.5242988. Registered Office: 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston, London E8 3DL.

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