The French Lieutenant's Woman

by John Fowles (adapted by Mark Healy)

22-30 June 2007


The novel's protagonist is Sarah Woodruff, the title Woman, also known by the nickname of “Tragedy”, and by the unfortunate nickname “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”. She lives in the coastal town of Lyme Regis, as a disgraced woman, supposedly abandoned by a French naval officer named Varguennes - married, unknown to her, to another woman - with whom she had supposedly had an affair and who had returned to France.

She spends her limited time-off at the Cobb (sea wall), staring at the sea. One day, she is seen there by the gentleman Charles Smithson and his fiancée, Ernestina Freeman, the shallow-minded daughter of a wealthy tradesman. Ernestina tells Charles something of Sarah’s story, and he develops a strong curiosity about her. Eventually, he and she meet clandestinely, during which times Sarah tells Charles her history, and asks for his support, mostly emotional. Despite trying to remain objective, Charles eventually sends Sarah to Exeter, where he, during a journey, cannot resist stopping in to visit and see her. At the time she has suffered an ankle injury; he visits her alone and after they have made love he realises that she had been, contrary to the rumours, a virgin. Simultaneously, he learns that his prospective inheritance from an elder uncle is in jeopardy; the uncle is engaged to a woman young enough to bear him an heir.

Sarah Fiona Koning
Writer, Dr Grogan Colin Bleasdale
Charles Truman Macarthy
Ernestina Genevieve Drake
Mrs Poulteney, Ma Terpsichore Rose Hudson
Mrs Trantor Cathrine West
Rev Forsythe Brian Hudson
Mary, Red Haired Girl Fiona Couchman
Sam Tim Gruar
American Woman  Yvonne Fisher
American Girl  Hancey Koning
Mrs Fairley, Mrs Endicott  Stephanie Drew
Nat Montague   Graeme Fisher
Tom Duncan McDonald
Prostitutes Stephanie Drew, Yvonne Fisher,
Cathrine West, Hancey Koning
Detectives Brian Hudson, Duncan McDonald, Cathrine West
Director Ross Miller
Stage Manager Duncan McDonald
Wardrobe Sue Miller, with help from Megan Temperton, Susan Lothian, Kythie Morris, Wendy Leary
Props Mary McDonald
Lights Gayle Carmichael
Sound Peter Drew
Prompt Mary McDonald
Set Ross Miller
Artwork Tim Gruar

Back to top

Phone: +64 4 233 1127 Address: Sunset Parade, Plimmerton, New Zealand Email: