Murphy builds a delightful, comic tale of righteousness and foolishness modelled on Oliver Goldsmith's classic eighteenth-century novel The Vicar of Wakefield.
An onslaught of misfortunes has beset the Primrose family; from his lonely prison cell, the unworldly vicar Dr Primrose relates the misadventures that have caused his downfall and brought disintegration and ruin to his loved ones. When the family’s fortune is lost, they are forced to move to more modest lodgings on Mr Thornhill’s estate, where Primrose’s beautiful daughter catches the covetous eye of the squire. Her folly and the family’s suffering tests the vicar’s determined faith in the goodness of the world, in a play that is both humorous, moving and an engaging renewal of a classic narrative.
Sometimes known as She Stoops to Folly, Murphy's adaptation of The Vicar of Wakefield, was first presented in 1995 at South Coast Repertory, Costa Mesa, California.