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Publisher's Summary

There’s something Constance Middleton’s friends are dying to tell her: her husband is having an affair – with her best friend! Despite their hints, Constance remains ever cool, and seemingly oblivious. Or is she? In this biting comedy of manners, marriages and mistresses, Constance – a not-so-desperate housewife - has some ideas of her own about extra-marital activity that surprise everyone in the end!

An L.A. Theatre Works full cast performance starring Kate Burton as Constance Middleton, Rosalind Ayres as Barbara Fawcett, Mark Capri as Bentley/Mortimer Durham, Stephen Collins as Bernard Kersal, John De Lancie as John Middleton, F.R.C.S., Jen Dede as Marie-Louise Durham, Christina Pickles as Mrs. Culver, and Kirsten Potter as Martha Culver, and with live sound effects by Tony Palermo.

Public Domain (P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works

What listeners say about The Constant Wife

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  • Gwynne O'Reagan
  • 12-06-2011

Fun and frothy, but with a bit of a bite!

An interesting entry from the LA TheatreWorks collection. Before buying this download, I had heard of this Somerset Maugham play, but I had never seen/heard it performed. It sounds much like a Noel Coward play, in style and wit, although it is less humorous and has a relatively serious undertone re man/woman relationships. The cast is uniformly excellent--bringing out the charm and the underlying social significance of the play--but both Kate Burton and Rosalind Ayres merit special mention. All the actresses come off better than the actors, but this is the nature of the play, which views men essentially as damn fools and women as either wise or scheming cats--but cats nonetheless. (Again, very much a Noel Coward stance!) Altogether, it is good fun, and you will certainly not regret selecting this play for your collection. I give it four out of five stars, and I will be listening to it again and again for the excellently deft touch of the actors.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Emily
  • 04-07-2014

A witty, funny, feminist tale of liberation

Constance is the perfect wife living the dream. She is devoted to her husband, a doctor, spends her days comfortably, and enjoys a high standard of living. To all appearances, nothing could be wrong in her world. However, she has a rather delicious secret ...

W. Somerset Maugham's brilliantly funny play is charming, will make you laugh, and is a timeless tale of a woman discovering who she is and what she wants. It will bear many repeated listenings, losing nothing in knowing what comes next, but becoming even better.

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  • gmrob
  • 12-07-2019

Better than I first thought it would be!

In the first few minutes, I almost stopped listening. I thought it simply wasn't my "cup of tea". But I did continue listening and very much enjoyed this presentation.

I had previously listened to a book by this author and so I looked for other books by him and this was one of them. Now I want to look further and find more by him.

It was a refreshing break from much of the newer titles suggested. It was short and sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed it!

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  • Jonathon Horel
  • 04-06-2018

Maugham always delivers

This play takes the tawdy affair narrative and turns it on It's head. Well written and well acted, more than worth a listen.

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  • Susan
  • 12-12-2016

Witty British drama

A great but little known English play about the sexual and economic double standard in the 1920s. I think it contains Maugham's best comic roles for women. The performance sparkles.

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  • Highlight
  • 22-11-2020

Cold Bad Acting Destroyed The Constant Wife

The whole cast destroyed the play for me. Yes I could hear some rather funny lines written by the writer, but the actors are that bad that ‘THE’ One Line at the end of the play that should have brought huge laughter by main female lead, Never even received a response from the audience, it was totally missed because she was so bad and neither did the male lead with his last lines. “The Crescendo’s at the very end of the play by both leading actors were missed, a total let down, plus at the end hardly any of the audience clapped or showed much approval. Please provide us with a different cast who know how to play this kind of genre.

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  • Fryer Ceramics
  • 18-09-2020

very enjoyable

A very enjoyable play, it was easy to follow and easy to isten to. Good performance.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-05-2020

Splendid read

I'm working my way through the works of Somerset Maugham and haven't been disappointed yet...

He and Graham Greene are rapidly becoming my favourite authors

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