by Allan Monkhouse
Directed by Jonathan Bank
Mint Theatre Company

Reviewed by David Spencer

The Mint Theatre  specializes in rediscovering “forgotten” plays; more accurately reviving plays that were hits (or at least notable) in their day but have been rendered marginal as time and tide have altered audience sensibility. The plays are almost always intriguing little visits to the time capsule, which makes them worthwhile as a glimpse into a bygone era that sturdier classics don’t provide as much—ironically because they’re not dated. But as entertainingly as they can be presented, these obscurities rarely vibrate with the energy of necessity, and Mary Broome by Allan Monkhouse is no exception. It’s a stiff comedy-drama of manners and mores about a rich gadabout who gets one of the family maids (the title character) pregnant. Dad demands he marry her, and when asked if that’s what she wants, the reply is, “I should like to marry somebody”—which didn’t quite have the ring of submissiveness and absurdity then than it does now.

               Under the direction of Jonathan Bank, it’s all done well, if not exceptionally, and by and large that’s true of the casting too. I personally found it slight, sexless stuff but in fairness one must note: my companion of the evening was somewhat more taken with it than I, and the engagement has extended twice. So this may be one where a second opinion is warranted.

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