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The Countess


The Countess
by Gregory Murphy
Directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser

1999 - 2000
​The Greenwich Street Theatre
The Beckett Theatre on Theatre Row
The Lambs Theatre

​In 1853 the foremost art critic of the period John Ruskin, his wife Effie and his portage the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millias departed in high spirits for the Scottish Highlands. What happened there gave rise to one of the most notorious scandals of the Victorian Age.

The Countess was the longest-running drama on-or-off Broadway in the 1999-2000 season. The Countess has since been produced throughout the United States, in Europe, Asia and in London’s West End at the Criterion Theatre.


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“Serious.  Wonderfully Witty.  Erotically Charged.”

-The New York Times

“Riveting, Sensational Drama.  One of the best plays of the year!”

-TimeOut New York

"... one has to honor Murphy for the quality of his writing in The Countess, not only for the wit and intelligence of the dialogue, but also the practical use he makes of the theatrical form." 

-Mimi Kramer, New York Press

“Fascinating!  Murphy is a gifted writer.  The subtleties of Villar-Hauser’s direction are matched by the precision of the writing.” 

-New York 1 News — On Stage

“Suspenseful. Passionate.  Explosive."

-Town & Village

“A wonderful evocative piece of theatre.”  

-The Sunday Telegraph

“Vivid.  Funny.  Intelligent.

-The New Yorker


“Writing as incisive a surgeon’s knife.  A gripping night of theatre!”

Honora Fergusson – Margaret Cox Ruskin (Mother)
Kristin Griffith – Lady Eastlake
Anita Keal – Alt, Margaret Cox Ruskin (Mother) 
Jy Murphy – John Everett Millais
Frederick Neumann – John James Ruskin (Father)
John Quilty – Frederick Crawley
James Riordan – John Ruskin
Richard Seff – Alt, John James Ruskin (Father)
Jennifer Woodward – Effie Ruskin

Original Music: Dewey Dellay
Set Designer: Mark Symczak
Costume Designer: Christopher Lione
Lighting Designer: Doug Filomena
Sound Designer: Randy Morrison

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