The Charity That Began at Home

St John Hankin is definitely one of those playwrights that the Shaw Festival has rescued from obscurity and we must all be grateful that they did so.

The Charity that Began at Home brings together the most awful collection of boring and obnoxious people for a country visit. Lady Denison (Fiona Reid at her best) has been convinced that it would be a great act of charity to invite the people no one else wants to have. The collection includes Jim Mezon as the retired general who never stops talking and cannot tell a story without a hundred diversions in thought; Neil Barclay as Mr Firket, Donna Belleville as Mrs Horrocks; Sherry Flett as Miss Triggs.

Laurie Paton is Mrs Eversleigh, the sister in law who arrives unexpectedly and is astonished to find the other guests in residence. She focuses her attention on her niece and encourages her to forget about charity and get married.


About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
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One Response to The Charity That Began at Home

  1. keithhpotter says:

    “False hospitality is inviting people because you like them. True hospitality is inviting them because they’d like to be asked.”

    Give me false hospitality every time! Hankin must have been at a lot of boring country weekend to draw these guests so well. I am so glad the Shaw Festival has introduced me to Hankin’s plays.

    This one is a nice satirical jab at philanthropy and charity with great acting by everyone on stage.

    I thought it faded out a bit at the end, but that certainly wasn’t the actors fault – and may have just been me.

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