‘The Constant Wife’ by W. Somerset Maugham first appeared on the London stage in 1927. Despite its age it is a remarkably modern comedy, contrasting men’s and women’s attitudes to fidelity in marriage.
John Middleton, a successful and highly respected surgeon, is having an affair with his wife’s best friend. Constance, his wife, appears blissfully ignorant of this, but unknown to her family and friends, she is well aware of the affair and is happy to turn a blind eye.
However, once the affair is out in the open, Constance decides to earn some money of her own, in order to become financially independent of her husband. Having been offered a job by a friend, Constance becomes a successful interior designer. Her success gives her more independence than John likes – and the play has a most unexpected and extremely humorous conclusion.
Somerset Maugham was a novelist, playwright and short-story writer who received international fame. His private life was very complicated and the play, written just before his own divorce, shows his rather cynical attitude to marriage, whilst also finding humour in the situation.
Sitting in the Director’s chair for the first time, I am very
grateful for the support I have been given my by cast, backstage crew and Front of House.
I am sure you will enjoy this witty and elegant comedy.