HULL Truck’s touring production of Lady Chatterley’s Lover stops off at Bridlington Spa tomorrow.
Adapted and directed by Nick Lane and designed by Pip Leckenby, it is a faithful reworking of one of the 20th century’s great stories.
Nick says: “The thing for me about the novel – and it often gets forgotten, I guess partly as a result of the famous obscenities trial – is that the story covers far more than simple physical love. We have themes of political change, the rising of the working classes, the desire for escape and of course, above all, a tender and beautiful love story”.
Lady Constance Chatterley is trapped in a loveless marriage. Injured in battle, her husband is unable to satisfy her sexual desires and she is drawn towards a man she meets in the woods.
As their passionate love affair reaches its climax, the constraints of Constance’s class-led society are broken down as the two lovers find fulfilment with each other.
Written in 1925, DH Lawrence’s controversial work was banned from sale until 1960 for its frank and explicit depiction of sex and its portrayal of a passionate and adulterous love affair.
Lady Chatterley is loosely based on Edith Sitwell’s mother Constance.
Lady Chatterley’s Lover – the Scarborough connection
THERE is a strong link between Lady Chatterley’s Lover and the Sitwell family, who lived at Woodend in Scarborough.
In his recently published biography of Edith Sitwell, Richard Greene says DH Lawrence visited Lady Ida and Sir George Sitwell in Italy and that “There is no question that Lady Chatterley’s Lover owes something to Lawrence’s observation of the Sitwells.
“Clifford Chatterley, a writer of fiction, lives in an estate resembling Renishaw [another Sitwell home]. He has an aunt like Lady Ida, and a sister, Emma, like Edith.
“Most importantly, Edith believed that, in the crippled and unsexed Clifford Chatterley, Lawrence attempted a portrait of Osbert – all the crueller because Lawrence was delving into a hushed-up topic, Osbert’s sexuality.”
Kate Evans, who reviewed the Sitwell biography for the Evening News, adds: “Edith apparently never forgave Lawrence. However, there is no suggestion Lady Ida was the role model for Constance. Lady Ida got into debt, was a gambler and, eventually, an alcoholic, but there is not much evidence of affairs with gamekeepers I believe.”