'Virtue in Danger' Leverett House Annual Play, Exposes Society of William and Mary's England

Dean Murdock, Professor Wild to Appear in Vanbrugh Comedy Monday Evening

This review was written for the Crimson by Arthur Raleigh Humphreys 2G, Commonwealth Fund Fellow, and resident of Leverett House.


"The Relapse; or Virtue in Danger," Sir John Vanbrugh's comedy which is to revived at Leverett House at 8.30 o'clock be next Monday is a typical product of the Restoration stage, complete with rakes, fops, confidantes, country squires, and the questionable population of the lunatic fringe of love.

Though it has apparently not been seen on the stage since 1870, it was a great success when first produced in 1696, and continued so during the 18th century. Vanbrugh wrote it, he remarked, to divert the wits of the town "and make them forget their spleen in spite of their wives and taxes."

It had the honor of being singled out for special condemnation the next year by that ferocious moralist Jeremy Collier, in his attack on the "immorality and profaneness of the English stage," and in reply Vanbrugh calmly enunciated his theory of comedy -- "to show people what they should do, by representing them on the stage doing what they should not."

The abridged version to be used on the Leverett House stage next Monday has been devised so as not to jeopardize this noble intention.

Sir Novelty Fashion (Lord Foppington) will be played by Harold B. Jaffee '36; Young Fashion, his brother, by Mason W. Gross 1G; Sir Tunbelly Clumsey, a country gentleman, by Verner S. Gaggin '35; Miss Hoyden, daughter of Sir Tunbelly, by Robert I. Cummin '35.

The rest of the cast will include Arthur G. Hills '37; R. H. Kulilke 1G; Rogers B. Horgan '37; Ellwood M. Rabenold, Jr. '37; Myron K. Stone '37; Adolf W. Marburg '37; William G. Cahan '35; Henry C. Larner '37; Arthur R. Humphreys 2G; and Dean Murdock, John D. Wild, assistant professor of Philosophy, Ernest J. Simmons, instructor in English, and George Jackson.

The stage management is in the hands of Frederic C. Bartter '35, assisted by Richard L. Heilman '35 and Fred B. Stevens '35, Walter E. Houghton, instructor in History and Literature. Theodore Merrison, instructor in English and Frederic B. Freeman 1G., are directing the production.