The Broken Heart stands next to ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore as Ford’s most popular drama. All is not right in Sparta because of, as is typical in this era of tragedies, the issue of marriage. In brief, Penthea wishes to to marry Orgilus, but her brother Ithocles gets involved and bans them from doing so, making both couples distraught. He forces her to marry Bassanes, an abusive brute who happens to be more wealthy than Orgilus. Ithocles then realises what he’s done wrong and tries to get his friend Prophilus to marry Orgilus’s sister Euphrania. Ithocles himself wants to marry the princess of Sparta, Calantha, who chooses him over her current betrothed, her cousin Nearchus. Thus begins a shocking cycle of revenge and recrimination… with predictably grisly consequences.
I play Philema, a maid of honour.