The excitement of Noel Coward’s hilarious play Relative Values returns to the UK stage with three of the country’s top comedy performers. The outrageous production shows audiences what happens when 1950s Hollywood collides with the English aristocracy. Chaos ensues.
The three-act comedy is a satire of snobbery. The play was first produced in London in the 1950s, and has seen several revivals since then. It was even made into a film in 2000.
The film version of the play includes an all-star cast, featuring: Stephen Fry, Julie Andrews, Jeanne Tripplehorn, Colin Firth, Edward Atterton, William Baldwin and Stephanie Beacham.
The original London show enjoyed a short provincial tour and ran from November through January. The play was directed by the author and starred Judy Campbell (Miranda), Gladys Cooper (Felicity) and Angela Baddeley (Moxie).
The production finally made it to New York in 1986, where it was staged by the Equity Library Theater. A 1993 revival at the Savoy featured Susan Hampshire (Felicity) and Sarah Brightman (Miranda).
The play was written at a time when the Attlee government was dying, and premiered just as the Tories and Churchill returned to power.
The original cast included:
- Richard Leech as Crestwell
- Renee Hill as Alice
- Angela Baddeley as Mrs. Moxton (Moxie)
- Gladys Cooper as Felicity
- Dorothy Batley as Lady Hayling
- Charles Cullum as Admiral Sir John Hayling
- Simon Lack as The Hon Peter Ingleton
- Ralph Michael as The Earl of Marshwood
- Judy Campbell as Miranda Frayle
- Hugh McDermott as Don Lucas
Irish actor Rich Leech was best known for his roles in the films The Dam Busters, Ice Cold in Alex, Tunes of Glory, The Shooting Party, and Young Winston.
On television, he made appearances on The Barchester Chronicles, The Doctors, Redcap and Smiley’s People.
In a show critics call Hollywood meets Downton Abbey, the play follows young Earl of Marshwood, who announces that he is engaged to a Hollywood film star. Countess of Marshwood, his mother, is appalled by the decision, but Moxie, her personal maid, is even more upset about the prospect and threatens to leave Marshwood and return to the status quo.
Moxie’s reasons for leaving are soon revealed, and the Countess engages in plotting and scheming to upend the marriage and keep her maid around.
While the play and film both have been met with mixed reviews from critics, audiences love the show – which has been revived numerous times throughout its history.