Writers: Edward Bulwer-Lytton


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
London, England, 1840s
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult characters


When first seen, Alfred Evelyn is resigned to the poverty that has made his days a grind, working as a secretary for his wealthy cousin, Sir John Vesey, and Sir John’s daughter, Georgina, the richest heiress in England. However, Evelyn soon comes into his own fortune but, having been rejected once before, he does not believe that his newfound wealth will gain him the affections of Clara, who is companion to Lady Franklin, Sir John’s sister. Yet Clara's rejection was not for lack of love but because she feared a marriage without money would be a drag on Evelyn’s life, as it was for her father. Now he has wealth, Clara fears that she will drag him down and so she decides to support and help Evelyn, even if she cannot marry him.

Evelyn is almost persuaded by the manipulative Sir John to marry the scatterbrained Georgina but she, while as greedy as her father, much prefers the foppish (but not wealthy) and lisping Sir "Fwedwick" Blount. Evelyn decides to fake his own bankruptcy in an attempt to extract himself from Sir John’s clutches. As the truth finally emerges, Georgina’s relationship with Sir Blount is revealed to her horrified father, and Evelyn realizes that Clara has supported him all along. Sir John is forced to give his blessing to both couples, much to everyone’s happiness. And, lest Lady Franklin be left out of the play’s multiple romantic equations, this woman of a certain age engineers her own romance with the widower, Graves, with whom she enjoys staring into space and discussing the Scottish reel..

Lead Characters

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