Who is Arthur Huntingdon?

Who is Arthur Huntingdon?

A character with many vices, we have a look at how to bring Arthur Huntingdon to life on stage

Arthur is a hedonist, who lives a decadent lifestyle even if it comes at the cost of the welfare of others and his own health.

Some of his characteristics include:

  • Easily taken and infatuated with new things or people
  • Intelligent and well-read
  • Manipulative
  • Rich but squanders his money on drink and gambling
  • Largely disregards religion

Arthur's props mainly include grand decanters of wine and generous sized drinking glasses. 

Designer Amanda Stoodley has chosen clothes that were the height of fashion during the time this play is set.

Rich, clear colours are used. Arthur is rarely seen without a waistcoat, even when he is drinking and socialising.

"Rejoice then, and let your piety be enough for both of us. I wasn’t made to be a saint"

Arthur Huntingdon, talking to his wife

Marc Small, who is playing the role of Arthur Huntingdon in our production, says that while he himself is quite physical and dynamic, the character of Arthur doesn’t need to make an effort to get people’s attention. He's more restrained in his movement. It is Arthur’s facility of language where Marc can have the most fun, because Arthur is very quick-witted and has a way with words.

"Ultimately, I have learnt that we all have different capacities for love, and some people struggle to show their love"

Marc Small

Although people may perceive him to be villainous, he is actually tormented by his own demons and his emotional limitations. He has reasoned justifications for his actions and believes what he is doing is the right thing to do.

Marc says: ”You can view a character as being as different from yourself as possible, but after deep analysis the likelihood is that we have all felt similar feelings at some point in our developmental stages: neediness, anger, lust, tantrums, we all have experience of manipulationIt's just that Arthur doesn't hide these things.

You can see Marc in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall at the Octagon Theatre until Sat 22 April before opening at York Theatre Royal.