The Barn theatre at Smallhythe Place in Tenterden was packed to the beams last Saturday for Spite and Smut and Tales and Lies, AP Waxkirsh’s one man show about Lord Hervey, Vice Chamberlain to King George II and Queen Caroline. Spectators, including a large contingent of Rye folk, were treated to a fascinating insight into the private lives of the royal family, who seemed to hate and despise each other.
Lord Hervey was an interesting character. In some ways he was ridiculous, bitchy and shallow, but curiously at many times, the audience laughed with him, not at him.
Set in 1737, the story revolved around the Prince of Wales’ forthcoming baby, which his parents doubted would really be his – rather they assumed that someone else’s child would be produced at the right moment. But as it turned out to be a girl, that probably wasn’t the case.
Insightfully written, elegantly acted, thought-provoking and immensely enjoyable, the only downside to this play was that it was on for one night only in Tenterden.
We need to have another opportunity to see this. It would be wonderful staged in the drawing room of a large 18th century house. Any volunteers?