Did she or didn’t she? You decide

Verity Mann plays Rachel Ashley in ‘My Cousin Rachel’.

Hi, I’m Verity and I’ll be playing Rachel Ashley in our first play of the Season ‘My Cousin Rachel’ by Diana Morgan. It’s a gothic drama based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier, and I’m thrilled that we are bringing it to the stage. Daphne du Maurier is one of my all time favourite writers. Her prose is beautifully crafted but she is also gifted in bringing complex characters to life, and gently bringing about plot twists that leave you wondering who actually are the good and bad guys. Your loyalties are called into question and, as in real life, supposedly ‘bad’ people are capable of acts of genuine love and compassion and ‘good’ people can ultimately lose sight of their moral compass.

Throughout the play, opinions constantly change about Rachel. She is seen as a scheming murderess, a broken hearted widow, a generous hostess, a temptress, a liar, a loving friend, a victim of circumstance. She is caught, trying to make her way in a world where your face is your fortune, your independence limited and your wealth provided and controlled by your husband. Just how far she takes matters into her own hands is a matter of great debate.

It is a gift of a part for an actor, and I am very much looking forward to you meeting her. Hopefully we’ll meet in the bar at the end, over a herbal tea, and you can let me know your verdict on her innocence or guilt.

‘My Cousin Rachel’ will be performed by the Saddleworth Players at the Millgate Arts Centre from 28 September to 5 October. Tickets are available online from our booking site or from the box office at Delph Library (Tuesdays 2pm–5pm, Wednesdays and Thursdays 2pm–7pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 9:30am–1pm). The box office telephone number is 01457 874644.

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