The Spanish Golden Age celebrated one of the most dynamic, energetic and stylish periods of world drama which exploded onto the stages of Madrid at the turn of the seventeenth century. It was a decisive period in world drama, similar to the periods of great national drama which occurred in seventeenth century London and fifth century Athens. The Spanish Golden Age was big business – professional, commercial theatre with plays touring all over Spain and Europe
The Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2004 Spanish Golden Age Season presented plays from this era, the work of some of Spain’s greatest playwrights. Rarely seen in the theatre, and now in translations by leading contemporary writers, the plays in this season dramatised our fascination with the themes of seduction, honour and revenge.
In The Dog in the Manger, Diana, Countess of Belfor, a beautiful and headstrong young woman, is beset by aristocratic suitors urging marriage but refuses them all. One-night she discovers her handsome young secretary seducing her favourite lady in waiting and is consumed with jealousy. A heartbreaking love triangle is forged and so begins a tale of forbidden love, envy and passion. The Dog in the Manger is a painful and hilarious comedy for anyone who has ever fallen in love with someone they shouldn’t have.