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“The Washtub”

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Strick, Joseph (American playwright, director, writer, adapter, 1923-____), and Cary Hollinshead (American playwright, writer-adapter, 1974-____), “The Washtub,”

a 15-minute Renaissance slapstick farce in English, adapted from the anonymous French original, Le Cuvier, set in a public  space in town, village or city, Fifteenth Century A.D.,

1m2f;  •  © 2000 by Joseph Strick and Cary Hollinshead,  29 rue de Tournon, 75006 Paris, France, telephone 331-4354-2712, fax 331-4051-7927, strick@noos.fr;  •  script/rights available from Richard Hatton Ltd, Agent, 29 Roehampton Gate, London SW15, England, e-mail richardhatton99@hotmail.com.  •  Cited by Joseph Strick via ftp September 25, 2001; Strick says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Jack (m), a husband with a young wife; Mother (f), Jack’s mother-in-law; Wife (f), Jack’s young wife.

  §  Synopsis “Young Jack has a young wife who with her mother dominates him. When they beat him, he pushes his wife into the washtub and saves her only when the women promise to reform. They don’t.

  §  Comment “See http://www.imdb.com for credits including  (a) Joyce’s Ulysses, (b) Genet’s The Balcony, (c) the Oscar-winning Interviews with My Lai Veterans.  •  The tone is Punch and Judy. ‘The Washtub’ has been  tried out at university theatres in Britain to excellent response. It can be played in any public venue and is based on the old tradition of traveling players. Costumes and props are limited to what could have been carried by the original players. The action is strong, sometimes anti-clerical, anti-landlord and always funny, with stage business to be enlarged by the director and players. This short play has been performed  in the University of Salford, Manchester, and  the University of Exeter.  •  Research could include Oscar Mandel’s Five Comedies of Medieval France (New York: E. P. Dutton and Company, Inc., 1970), ISBN 0-525-47276-2.

  §  Themes dominance, marriage, mother-daughter relationship, Le Cuvier, mother-in-law-son-in-law relationship, reform, rescue, slapstick, submission.

See also Joseph Strick and Cary Hollinshead’s:

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