The Tony award-winning play The Heiress, was the first full length play put on by New Era Players in our Wash Common theatre, 40 years ago. Written by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, it is based on the novella Washington Square by Henry James. It is set in 19th century New York and revolves around the wealthy Sloper family who live in the much sought- after New York address of Washington Square, New York.
The story has at its heart the character of Catherine, the heiress of the title, who has money of her own and will inherit another fortune on her father’s death. She is an awkward, socially inept young woman who would seemingly be resigned to remaining single at a time when all young women are actively pursuing a good husband. She meets Morris early on in the play; a charming, articulate young man who persuades her that he has fallen for her and wishes to marry her. Catherine of course is overjoyed but her father, Dr Sloper, has concerns about Morris and his intentions. The rest of the story spans 2 years and is concerned with the tensions and problems that arise between these 3 characters because of how they and the audience respond to the character of Morris.
The tensions are lightened at times by the actions and meddling of Catherine’s aunt, Mrs Penniman, who is desperate for the relationship between Catherine and Morris to work. We are very lucky to have a link back to our original production in Marie Jacobs, who played Catherine 40 years ago and is playing Mrs Penniman in this production.
Is it possible to combine wealth and love?
Catherine Sloper – Pippa Higgins
Dr Sloper – Keith Keer
Morris Townsend – Patrick Lintin
Mrs Penniman – Marie Jacobs
Mrs Almond – Sue Keer
Mrs Montgomery – Georgie Gale
Marian Almond – Vikki Goldsmith
Maria – Karen Ashby
Arthur Townsend – Charles Wolfenden
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