image © Catherine Ashmore
Lyttelton Theatre: The National Theatre, London
The penniless Alfred Evelyn is the unpaid and little respected secretary to his social climbing cousin Sir John Vesey, a social climber who has duped London into thinking him rich and therefore important. When Evelyn inherits a fortune from a distant relative, Vesey promptly seeks to become his father-in-law.
But Vesey is not the only one to jump on Evelyn’s bandwagon. Tradesmen and politicians seek him out. Evelyn is meanwhile heartbroken after having been turned down by Clara, the companion to Vesey’s likeable sister, Lady Franklin.
Clara’s rejection of him was not for lack of love but because she feared a marriage without money will be a drag on his life as it was for her father (and, having turned him down when he was poor she felt she could hardly accept him when he was rich for fear he get the wrong impression).
With his hopes for a life with Clara seemingly dashed, Evelyn is almost persuaded to marry the scatter-brained Georgina. Georgina, while as greedy as her father, much prefers the foppish (but not as wealthy), lisping Sir “Fwedwick” Blount.
A third romance demanding a happy ending involves Georgina’s aunt, the merry and inclined to marry Lady Franklin and the chronically bereaved widower Sir Henry Graves.
All the while, Sir John is still scheming- but it would appear he’s not the only one with a few tricks up his sleeve…
- Roger Allam – Henry Graves
- Simon Russell Beale – Alfred Evelyn
- Patricia Hodge – Lady Franklin
- Denis Quilley – Sir John Vesey
- Victoria Hamilton – Clara Douglas
- Writer: Edward Bulwer-Lytton
- Director: John Caird
Allam reprised the role of Henry Graves for a BBC radio production of the play in 2011.
Awards and nominations
Roger Allam won the 2000 Olivier award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Money.
A step further from the centre, Roger Allam almost steals the show as a man determined to be gloomy, dragged back to good cheer against his will by Patricia Hodge’s wise and witty widow.
Theatre Guide London, Autumn 1999
MONEY is an average comedy made good by a smashing cast.
London Theatre Archive, 19 June 1999
gallery: stage (1996 – 2000)