The Relapse, or, Virtue in Danger

Appearance and Staging of The Relapse; or Virtue in Danger

In John Vanbrugh’s The Relapse; or Virtue in Danger, Act I, scene i. plays a crucial role in establishing the theme of appearance versus reality. Because this play is a continuation of Colley Cibber’s Love’s Last Shift, it is imperative that the first scene of the opening act has the ability to stand on its own. Therefore, in order to exude the themes of duplicity and manipulation, deceit and denial, it is essential that the casted actor and actress know not only how to act, but how to act within an act. In addition, by focusing specifically on the tone and the word choices Vanbrugh utilizes for the dialogue between Loveless and Amanda in the opening scene, the audience can readily detect the ultimate fate of the couple’s marriage. Lastly, by choosing the perfect setting for which the opening scene occurs and by directing the physical movements and facial expressions desired from the actors, the new rendition of Vanbrugh’s The Relapse will not only be a success, but will enable the audience to develop a deeper understanding of the characters and the motivations behind their actions in less than 150 lines.

As the curtains open, the lights should be affixed upon a handsome looking man in his late twenties. Wearing clothing not...

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