"Sir Patient Fancy"

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In a Nutshell

Three intermingling love triangles and a blustery hypochondriac give audiences glimpses into the bedrooms of 17th century London

The Fine Print

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The Deal

  • $10 for one general-admission ticket (up to $20 value)

Sir Patient Fancy

Take a love nonagon (or, really, three overlapping love triangles) and mix in a good amount of ribald humor. The result? The witty and unexpectedly lusty Sir Patient Fancy. The tale concerns three noblemen and the noblewomen they wish to bed or wed, plus the “simpleton” Sir Credulous Easy and the blustery hypochondriac Sir Patient Fancy. Together these characters’ actions and thoughts (delivered in asides) offer a glimpse into the 17th-century London that few playwrights have shed light on—from the back alleys to the bedrooms.

While the wit and entendre still land today, back in 1678, when the play first debuted, they were downright scandalous. The author, Aphra Behn, was one of the first female professional playwrights (as well as a spy for King Charles II), and she quickly made a name for herself through use of saucy wenches and daring fops. Her legacy continues on more than three centuries later, with Virginia Woolf writing, “All women together ought to let flowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn…for it was she who earned them the right to speak their minds.”

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