Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Mother Gets a Reading Off-Broadway May 1

News   Richard Brinsley Sheridan's Mother Gets a Reading Off-Broadway May 1 Actor-manager David Garrick considered Sheridan's play the best comedy of its time. Other admirers of the playwright included such august figures as Dr. Johnson and his biographer James Boswell.

No, not Richard Brinsley Sheridan, the author of the eternal School for Scandal and The Rivals. His mother, Mrs. Frances Sheridan (1724-1766), who was also a playwright, and penned a wildly successful The Discovery, which debuted at the Drury Lane in 1763 and was revived many times afterwards. Sonny boy eventually eclipsed mom's star and today few aside from theatre historians remember Mrs. Sheridan. The Juggernaut Theatre Company aims to put an end to that anonymity May 1, when it holds a reading of The Discovery. The event is at the East Village's Connelly Theatre.

The reading is directed by Gwynn MacDonald. Admission is free.

Mrs. Frances Sheridan was born Frances Chamberlaine in Dublin, daughter of a clergyman. She was secretly taught to write by her brothers, and, as a result, produced a novel at the age of 15. With Thomas Sheridan, she had five children, the talented Dicky being one of them. Garrick produced The Discovery. It was revived in 1776, 1779, 1780, 1782 and 1806. A second play, The Dupe, was disliked by audiences. A third, A Journey to Bath, was rejected by Garrick. However, son Richard put it to good use by borrowing one of its characters as a model for The Rivals' Mrs. Malaprop, one of the most famous comic characters in English literature.