Lovers and Liars : A David Garrick Double Bill
Lovers and Liars : A David Garrick Double Bill…
The 18th Century has left the legacy of an ‘evening at the theatre’, (a night of numerous plays, entertainment acts and socialising) an experience this production strives to recreate through our Garrick double bill. The event showcases two plays heavily rooted in master/servant relationships, love and lies and the manipulation of unsuspecting pawns. Whilst one follows the revelry of female prowess and the pressures of honour and morality, the other explores the chaos provoked by deception in order to protect social upstanding. Yet both productions submerge the audience into a world of dissaray. With live music and period costumes we aim to host an evening evocative of the variety shows that theatres have exhibited throughout history; from the early 1700s right up until the 1920s. This double bill aims to transport the audience into the bedlam of farce, exposing the high stakes at jeopardy from the moment they enter the theatre, until final curtain.
Miss in Her Teens
Written in 1747 by David Garrick, this play follows Captain Loveit and his companion Puff who are newly returned from the war in Flanders in order to ‘indulge in the gentler passions’. They are returned to London to seek out Miss Biddy, a young woman of beauty and fortune, whom the Captain met during a sojourn in the country. The pair endeavour to find her whilst attempting to avoid the unwanted attentions of the Captain’s father and Puff’s disgruntled, estranged wife.
Miss Biddy meanwhile, in between pining for her departed lover and avoiding the attentions of old Sir Simon, a sixty-five year old who hopes to make her his bride, has been enjoying the attentions of two unlikely suitors; Captain Flash and Mr Fribble. Worried about her state of affairs Biddy turns to her maidservant, Tag, for advice on how to resolve her dilemmas.
Over the course of one day lovers are reunited and love affairs are discovered, rekindled and thwarted as Biddy, assisted by Tag, attempts to navigate the ensuing mayhem. Will she succeed? Will true love blossom? Will people call her a coquette? Or will it all prove one lie too many?
The Lying Valet
Having squandered all their money to dishonourable living, Charles Gayless and his valet, Timothy Sharp, find themselves starving in their empty house. Fortunately, Gayless is due to be married to Melissa, a wealthy Lady eager to be wed, whom he has courted under a pretence of affluence. But when Melissa’s servant, Kitty, begins to suspect Gayless of dishonesty to her mistress, Sharp must weave a web of lies to hide their poverty, or risk Melissa discovering his master’s secret and calling the whole wedding off.
Originally performed in 1741, with David Garrick himself in the title role, this farce revolves around the universal constants of wealth and poverty as well as the importance of reputation and honourable courtship in the world of the upper classes. Our performance transports the audience into the midst of the 1920’s where social upheaval and financial instability was rife. However, like Miss in Her Teens, The Lying Valet still explores and illustrates the comedy of errors deeply rooted in 18th century farce. While the former expresses the revelry of coquettish manipulation, this play propounds the value of moral virtue.