Preview: Never Mind Where Your Daughter Lies

Coming to the O’Reilly next week is Never Mind where your daughter lies, a 17th century-inspired tale centred around a feud between three families. It opens just after a wedding between Jane Lily and Marston; however, jealous love-interests and scheming from various other characters soon place their marriage into jeopardy. The play opens as a farce, with people scheming and running from scene to scene, yet the ending descends into a darker tragedy. From the rapid explanation of the plot that I received in the preview, I can tell you that the story-line is complicated – I feel like I’m still getting my head around it – but that apparently is what director Doug Taylor wants you to feel. The unofficial tag-line of the play is “So good you’ll come twice”. Doug explained that there is so much to grapple with in the play that another viewing would leave you noticing different things in the language, music and incestuous plot-twists.

And yes I did say music, because this play is aiming to be as original as possible: there is a new score composed by John Willis and the script was written by Doug and John Oxley. Doug is well-known for his spoken-word poetry nights From the Horse’s Mouth and it seems that parts of the script are written like poetry, with a dense concentration of meaning. “As we wanted the play to be just over an hour we had to pack in a lot of action and meaning into shorter pieces of dialogue,” he tells me. There will be moments of respite from the hectic on-stage action in the form of musical interludes which will add to the atmosphere of the play as a whole. The music itself is highly impressive and will be pre-recorded by a fifteen-piece chamber orchestra. Elaborate 17th century dress will add to the whole spectacle of the play too.

The scenes I saw were witty and entertaining and the acting promises to be of a high standard, featuring a strong cast with faces from recent Playhouse shows Noises Off and Living Together. All-in-all I’m looking forward to seeing how everything will fit together next week; it’s clear that this is something different and new, which after all, is what student theatre does best.


Never Mind Where Your Daughter Lies will be performed at the Keble O’Reilly from Wednesday 27th to Saturday 30th May at 7.30pm.