* In this production, the roles swap at this point and its Alexis who takes the potion and ends up falling for Dr. DalyThe villagers of Ploverleigh are preparing to celebrate the betrothal of Alexis Pointdextre, the son of the local baronet and the blue-blooded Aline Sangazure. Only a young village maiden named Constance Partlet seems unwilling to join in the happy mood, and we learn as she tells her mother that she is secretly in love with the local vicar, Dr. Daly and the cleric himself promptly soliloquises that he has been unlucky in love. However, despite Mrs. Partlet's best attempts at matchmaking, the middle-aged Dr. Daly seems unable to conceive that a young girl like Constance would be interested in him.Alexis and Aline arrive and it soon becomes clear that his widower father Sir Marmaduke and her widowed mother Lady Sangazure are concealing long-held feelings for one another, which propriety demands remain hidden. The betrothal ceremony is carried out, and left alone together Alexis reveals to his fiancée his plans for practical implementation of his principle that love should unite all classes and ranks. He has invited John Wellington Wells, a representative from a respectable London firm of sorcerers, to Ploverleigh. Alexis instructs Wells to prepare a batch of love potion sufficient to dose the entire village
Wells mixes the potion. The villagers gather for the wedding feast and the potion is added to a teapot. All of the villagers, save Alexis, Aline and Wells, drink it and, after experiencing some hallucinations they fall unconscious.
At midnight that night the villagers awake and, under the influence of the potion, each falls in love with the first person of the opposite sex that they se. All of the matches thus made are highly and comically unsuitable; Constance, for example, loves the ancient notary who performed the betrothal. However, Alexis is pleased with the results, and now asserts that he and Aline should drink the potion themselves to seal their own love. Aline is hurt by his lack of trust and refuses, offending him. Alexis is distracted, however, by the revelation of his father having fallen for the lower-class Mrs Partlet, but he determines to make the best of this union.
Wells, meanwhile, is regretting the results that his magic has caused, and regrets them still more when the fearsome Lady Sangazure fixes on him as the object of her affections. Aline* decides to yield to Alexis' persuasion and drinks the potion without telling him. Upon awaking, she inadvertently meets Dr. Daly first and falls in love with him. Alexis desperately appeals to Wells as to how the effects of the spell can be reversed. It turns out that this requires that either Alexis or Wells himself yield up his life. The people of Ploverleigh rally against the outsider from London and Wells, resignedly, bids farewell and is swallowed up by the underworld in a burst of flames. The spell broken, the villagers pair off according to their true feelings, and celebrate with another feast.
Sir Marmaduke Pointdextre – Ian Belsey
Alexis, his son – Oliver White
Dr. Daly, Vicar of Ploverleigh – Philip Cox
Notary – Martin Lamb
John Wellington Wells – Simon Butteriss
Lady Sangazure – Sylvia Clarke
Aline, her daughter – Emma Morwood
Mrs. Partlett – Susan Moore
Constance, her daughter – Claire Watson
Director – Jeff Clarke
Designer – Graham Wynne
Choreographer – Jenny Arnold
Lighting – Guy Dickens
Wardrobe – Denise Crane
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