By Aphra Behn
At RSC, Stratford-Upon-Avon
Since venturing off to take in this supreme piece of theatre fun, I’ve shout-talked my happiness at a handful of friends about its joyous impact upon me and the crazy fact that I’d never come across this spectacularly talented restoration period lady playwright before.
Thankfully those kind friends weren’t shocked and wishing to disengage from my company indefinitely, rather chuffed that I’ve finally become acquainted with such a hugely gifted, all-rounder. For apparently, she wasn’t just a dramatist, but a poet, novelist, SPY, political propagandist and the first English woman to earn her living by the pen – how great is that…and how useful that one’s programme was able to fill me in further.
The text of The Rover serves up meaty fistfuls of roll on the floor hysterical bawdiness, which is presented to you by a superior cast. The energy’s infectious and the action so lively I struggled to stay in my seat. Thankfully I didn’t have to for the whole play, for there was an interval where I dashed off to the Shop to purchase a copy of the text for Team Family winter evening fun and then at the end of all the terrific shenanigans, I ejected from my seat to stand and applaud and smile and try and catch the eye of the rogue Willmore and the feisty Hellena.
The RSC does theatre. It does costumes. It does music. It does dance. It does lusty excitable action. And it does a spectacular night out.
If you see just one play this year – see this.