THEATRE PREVIEW – The Matchmaker – Independent Theatre – Goodwood Institute From 5-13 August

Matchmaker handbill frontHaving started the year with a hugely successful production of that most famous of plays “Hamlet”– Independent Theatre is now turning its sights on one of the American theatre’s best-loved comedies – Thornton Wilder’s 1954 Edinburgh Festival hit –


This classic comedy was first staged at the Edinburgh Festival and Theatre Royal Haymarket in London’s West End, before opening on Broadway in 1955 at the Royale Theatre, completing its run of 486 performances.

The wild success of the play led to two film adaptations, most notably Hello, Dolly! with Barbra Streisand in the lead role.

However the play itself is still regarded as a far richer and funnier experience and Independent Theatre is proud to bring it the stage once again.

Money – if you’ll pardon my expression – is like manure.  It’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread about, encouraging young things to grow.”  Dolly Levi

New York, 1886.  The Statue of Liberty has just been unveiled.

Widow Dolly Levi is a woman who “arranges things”.  She also likes liberating things – especially stifled people and idle wealth!  She is hired by the rich, pompous merchant, Horace Vandergelder, to prevent his niece from eloping with “an artist”, and also to find Horace a new wife.

However, Dolly has other ideas.  She has set her own sights on Horace, and embarks on a scheme to get him to propose.  Her machinations include Horace’s two young clerks, whom she encourages to head into New York for a day “on the razzle”, and a pretty, widowed milliner and her assistant.

After a series of hilariously farcical situations involving exploding tomato cans, cross-dressing, hiding in wardrobes, and secret rendezvous at a New York restaurant, everyone finds themselves paired with their perfect match.

Along the way, Dolly and her friends have surprisingly topical things to say about the aspirations of the young, and the equitable distribution of wealth.

Thornton Wilder’s classic comedy was turned into the hit musical “Hello Dolly”, but is, itself, far richer and funnier than the musical.

Stars Bronwyn Ruciak as Dolly Levi and David Roach as Horace Vandergelder.

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