The Sympathy and Folly of Beaten-Down Hearts

Ani Asatryan
El Vaquero Staff Writer

With plenty of Cathy’s and Nancy’s, Peter Shaffer decided to use the name Lettice for his main character in “Lettice and Lovage.” With Lettice, he did not create a delectable salad, but rather a marvelous play about the loss of beauty and courage in today’s modern world.

The play is limited to five characters. There is Lettice Douffet (Bernadette Cheyne), a tour guide, Charlotte Schoen (Halleigh Andrews), a representative for the Preservation Trust, the Surly Man (Gagig Kevorgian), Ms. Framer (Kathleen McDonald), Ms. Schoen’s secretary, and Mr. Bardolph (Steffan Raines), Ms. Douffet’s lawyer.

The main character Lettice Douffet, is a middle-aged woman living in the past. She has a tendency to over-exaggerate everything she does. She has been fired from many jobs as a tour guide because, instead of offering the plain and simple facts of history, she alters them into magnificent historical pieces to make them more exciting.

Charlotte Schoen on the other hand, is a middle-aged woman quite in tune with today’s modern world. She works in an office with a computer and is very conservative. Offering any excitement to history by straying from the facts is absolutely unacceptable to her; she must fire Lettice.

The two seem to be complete opposites of each other, but one thing they do have in common is their love for history. Even though Charlotte is in accord with the modern world with computer skills and all, she, just like Lettice, believes that the past was a thing of beauty. With this in common, the two forge a beautiful friendship together as the play unfolds.

“The relationship of the characters was fascinating,” said Cheyne. “It’s a very bizarre relationship that they share.”

The comedy “Lettice and Lovage” is a well-written piece indeed. “It’s about two middle-aged women trying to find a way to deal with the modern world,” said Ken Gray, director of the play “It’s beautiful how these two women forge a friendship and try to find the beauty of real life.”

“I think it’s about getting old and adjusting by finding a friend and making things better with them,” said Andrews.

“Lettice and Lovage” is now playing through Oct. 21 in the Auditorium Theater. Tickets are $7 for general admission, $5 for students and seniors and $3 each for persons in groups of 10 or more. For more information, call Ext. 5618.