(Jane Shilling’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 6/11.)
When a languid borzoi appears on the stage, towing a redoubtable aunt, you know you’re in for a jolly theatrical evening – especially when the aunt in question is one of P.G. Wodehouse’s creations.
Lady Caroline Byng isn’t quite as formidable as Bertie Wooster’s Aunt Agatha, but she still constitutes a significant obstacle to the romantic prospects of her son, Reggie, and her pretty niece, Maud Marshmoreton.
Wodehouse’s novel, originally published in 1919, proved a remarkably versatile creation. The author subsequently collaborated on film and stage adaptations, and in 1937 he co-wrote the screenplay of a musical version, directed by George Stevens and starring Fred Astaire, with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin.