Reviews: The Beaux’ Stratagem at the National Theatre

A reviews round-up for Simon Godwin’s production of George Farquhar’s final play The Beaux’ Stratagem at the National Theatre.

Simon Godwin’s production of The Beaux’ Stratagem opened at the National Theatre on 26 May 2015 and will continue in repertoire until 20 September 2015.

Reviews are still coming in however the critics have been impressed with Godwin’s production of Farquhar’s carnal comedy.


The cast includes Samuel Barnett, Esh Alladi, Jamie Beamish, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Jane Booker, Cornelius Clarke, Susannah Fielding, Molly Gromadzki, John Hastings, Richard Henders, Lloyd Hutchinson, Chris Kelham, Nicholas Khan, Barbara Kirby, Ana-Maria Maskell, Amy Morgan, Pearce Quigley, Mark Rose, Chook Sibtain, Geoffrey Streatfeild and Timothy Watson.


The ‘Beaux’: Mr Aimwell and Mr Archer, two charming, dissolute young men who have blown their fortunes in giddy London. Shamed and debt-ridden, they flee to provincial Lichfield. Their ‘Stratagem’: to marry for money.
Lodged at the local inn, posing as master and servant, they encounter a teeming variety of human obstacles: a crooked landlord, a fearsome highwayman, a fervent French Count, a maid on the make, a drunken husband, a furious butler, a natural healer and a strange, turbulent priest.
But their greatest obstacle is love. When the Beaux meet their match in Dorinda and Mrs Sullen they are most at risk, for in love they might be truly discovered.


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Average rating score for this production:


"Fresh and assured. This Restoration comedy has japes aplenty. Winning performances from Susannah Fielding and Geoffrey Streatfeild."

“Simon Godwin’s production of George Farquhar’s play is one of the most consistently funny productions of a Restoration comedy you’re likely to see.”

“Samuel Barnett (Aimwell) and Geoffrey Streatfeild (Archer) have the makings of a fine and dandy double-act.” “a decent romp that needs to be rompier”

‘Exhilarating. Simon Godwin’s production maintains a perfect balance between serious comment and exuberant fun.’ “George Farquhar’s comedy plays its Restoration feminist cards with a generous heart in an exhilarating Simon Godwin production” “an exhilarating revival of George Farquhar’s 1707 comedy that releases the play’s energy while underlining its social significance as an attack on the subjugation of women.”

"The Beaux' Stratagem is basically a thing of slapstick and gaiety and light rumpy-pumpy. In those respects, Simon Godwin's production, with its gorgeous costumes and frisky folk music, does well enough." "A merry romp, but this a world away from true tears of divorce"

"Godwin's production could, at the moment, do with quite a bit more oomph but it moves with a slick fluency on Lizzie Clachan's ingenious set of sliding panels and triple staircase and it is blessed with a cast who do quirky justice to the giddily batty crush of characters"

“The Restoration comedy has been discreetly reshaped to be relevant to its modern audience.  It is like watching English comedy move from Restoration mode into a new age, and Godwin and his cast work it beautifully” "Samuel Barnett is perfectly cast as Aimwell."

Date: 28 May 2015
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