The Heiress by Ruth & Augustus Goetz

based on Washington Square by Henry James

Click here for pictures of the production

Review by Peter James in the Farnham Herald:

Superb Performance of a Love and Money Tale

What a wonderful evening! Last week at Tilford Institute the Tilbourne Players entertained us with a brilliant performance of “The Heiress”, a play based on the novel “Washington Square” by Henry James and what a performance it was!

Directed superbly by Hilary Lee-Corbin, the audience was drawn into 19th century New York and the fraught relationship between an overbearing but worldly-wise father, played with great aplomb by Ian Wilson-Soppitt, and his timid daughter, Catherine, played superbly by Josie Waters.

Their father/daughter relationship becomes ever more strained as Catherine, encouraged by her aunt, played so delightfully by Sara Wilson-Soppitt, falls for Morris, a penniless dilettante, convincingly portrayed by Tony Carpenter, and we remained gripped to the very end with the evolving tale of whether Morris’s professed love for Catherine was genuine or if he just in love with her inherited wealth.

In this play all costumes were excellent and in keeping with the period; the set conveyed an atmosphere of 19th century opulence.

Marian (Vilyana Stoyanova) and Arthur (Matthew Fowler) a young couple about to embark on married life together, were charmingly drawn. Elizabeth (Jane Quicke) was another character deserving mention; she was one of Dr Sloper’s sisters and played her part admirably. Mrs Montgomery (Susie Gow) was Morris’s sister. What a strong character she was and one which Susie played to perfection.

The only other person I have to acknowledge is Maria, the maid (Caryl Griffith) - always on hand to help, and drawing all the different threads of the action together; all I can say is well done!

There was nothing amateurish about this production as every member of the cast played their part so convincingly. “The Heiress” won Oscars in the 1949 film and this production certainly received our Oscars.

By Peter James