Exploring the greatest new and classic plays


Tanya Reynolds as Kate and
Freddie Fox as Marlow
She Stoops to Conquer
Orange Tree Theatre
December 2023
Photo by Marc Brenner


072 – She Stoops to Conquer, by Oliver Goldsmith

Dec 13, 2023 | Podcast Episodes | 0 comments

Oliver Goldsmith’s ‘sentimental’ or ‘laughing’ comedy She Stoops to Conquer is both a romantic comedy and a deft social satire of town and country in late 18th century England. It’s merry-go-round of romantic intrigues comes complete with mistaken identities, stolen jewels and a midnight coach ride that ends mired in a horse pond. There is never much doubt however that in the end it is the women who will conquer.

She Stoops to Conquer premiered at Covent Garden Theatre in March 1773, and for the past 250 years has been a staple of English language theatre programmes and educational curriculae. As we record this episode a sparkling new production is on stage at the Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond upon Thames, and I’m delighted to be joined today by its director, Tom Littler, who is perfectly placed to tell us why this play has proved so enduringly popular.

Tom Littler

Tom Littler became the Artistic Director of the Orange Tree theatre in early 2023. His first production as director was a revival of Somerset Maugham’s The Circle, before She Stoops to Conquer. Before this Tom was the Artistic Director and Executive Producer at the Jermyn Street Theatre in London for five years to 2022, during which he won several awards, including the OffWest End Award for Best Artistic Director, as well as The Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Theatre Making during Lockdown, and the Stage Award for Best Fringe Theatre.

Tom has directed over 70 productions, including The Tempest, Tonight at 8:30, For Services Rendered, Miss Julie, Creditors, The Living Room, First Episode and Love All, all at the Jermyn Street Theatre. Other credits include: Measure for Measure (Cambridge Arts), Hamlet (Guildford Shakespeare Company), Good Grief (Theatre Royal Bath), Dances of Death (Gate Theatre), Murder in the Cathedral (Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford), Single Spies (Theatre by the Lake and Theatre Royal York), Dear Uncle (Theatre by the Lake), and Jingo (Finborough Theatre)

Tom has also directed the musicals A Little Night Music (Budapest), Cabaret (Frankfurt and Munich), Saturday Night (Arts Theatre) and Anyone Can Whistle (Jermyn Street).

Tom has an English degree from Oxford, as well as postgraduate degrees from the Open University and the University of Cambridge, and he has also taught 18th century literature at Cambridge.

Recommended Play

Tom recommended Infinite Life by Annie Baker.

Photo by Rebecca Need Menear

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