The Clandestine Marriage

Definition

Theater

  • A comedy by David Garrick and George Colman the Elder(see the Colmans), first performed in 1766. A rowdeveloped between the two authors when Garrick refused to play therole of Lord Ogleby. The part was created by Tom King (1730 - 1804)and became a much sought-after role. The 1975 Chichester Festivalsaw an acclaimed revival with Alistair Sim in his last role; the productionwent on to become a big hit in the West End.

    The story concerns the secret marriage of Fanny Sterling andher father's clerk, Lovewell. Her wealthy father has arranged a marriagebetween Fanny's sister and Sir John Melvil, the nephew of Lord Ogleby.Melvil and Ogleby arrive to make arrangements, but Melvil now expresseshis love for the more attractive Fanny. Fearing to reveal her marriage,she fends him off and appeals to Ogleby who, mistaking this for anadvance, proposes marriage himself. When Lovewell is discovered inFanny's bedroom, however, Lord Ogleby defends the couple and bringsabout a happy ending.

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