Bell Shakespeare actor Harriet Dyer in her debut The School for Wives.
Bell Shakespeare actor Harriet Dyer in her debut The School for Wives. Jacklyn Wagner

Looking for Ms Perfect

FRENCH playwright Moliere is hailed as one of the great masters of comedy literature, but he was also a relationships guru?

In fact if he was born today, he might have made a great self-help author.

His 17th Century play The School For Wives, being performed by the Bell Shakespeare Company today at Lismore City Hall, has a warning for those with delusions of creating the perfect partner.

Arnolde, played by John Adam, is so scared of what might go wrong he arranges for his future bride to be cloistered in a convent until she comes of age.

Unfortunately the natural inclinations of his Agnes cannot be tamed and the plan backfires with disastrous and hilarious results.

"Agnes is a puppet until she realises she doesn't have to be," said Harriet Dyer, who plays Agnes.

"The play proves you can teach a person ABC, but if they have an inquisitive mind (like Agnes) they're going to go and find out about XYZ.

"At the end of the day you can't control anybody, because what's in their nature will come out."

And trying to buy love? Don't even think about it, said Ms Dyer.

"Your heart chooses who you want to be with - I can throw gold and flowers at you and then someone can stand there and look at you and you'll say 'That's the one'."

The cast and crew are on a tour of 24 regional centres.



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