Edward Bulwar-Lytton was one of the leading literary figures of the mid nineteenth century in England. A novelist, dramatist and the Baron of Knebworth, he was also a prominent member of Parliament, fighting for theatrical reform, even challenging the Lord Chamberlain's censoring policies some 130 years before that position was toppled. His plays, favorites of legendary actor Charles Macready, include The Duchess de la Valliere and Richelieu.
Today, Bulwar-Lytton is little remembered, rarely performed in England and almost never in America. Beginning Oct. 4, however, New York audiences have been getting a chance to see the playwright's political satire, Money. Off-Broadway's Storm Theatre presents the comedy at the Studio Theatre, officially opening Money Oct. 6 for a run through Oct. 28.
The Storm Theatre may have been encouraged to stage Money by the success the play enjoyed in a 1999 mounting at London's Royal National Theatre. That production, directed at the Olivier Theatre by John Caird, starred Simon Russell Beale (who won an Olivier Award for his portrayal), Roger Allam and Victoria Hamilton.
In Money, Alfred Evelyn, a poor dependent in Sir John Vesey's household, unexpectedly inherits a fortune. Suddenly, all the friends and colleagues who once mistreated and ignored him are courting his favor. So beset upon and confused is Alfred, he even distrusts the sincere overtures of his one true love.
John S. Davies will direct the production. Peter Dobbins will play Alfred. Tickets are $19. The Studio Theatre is located at 145 W. 46th Street.
--By Robert Simonson