The Belle's Stratagem

Performance history

Despite immense popularity in its time, The Belle's Stratagem was withdrawn by Richard Brinsley Sheridan when he took over management of Drury Lane from Garrick.[6] Although presented a number of times during the 19th century in both England and the United States,[3] it was rarely performed by major theaters throughout recent history.

It was revived in an off-Broadway showcase production by Prospect Theater Company in New York City in 2003,[7] in a major production by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2005,[4] and in 2011 received its first British production since 1888.[6] It was presented at Southwark Playhouse, London, by Red Handed Theatre Company, directed by Jessica Swale and met universal acclaim from the press, leading to a tour to the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Michael Billington (The Guardian) heralded it 'eminently revivable' and Libby Purves (The Times) commented 'Theatrical enterprise like this makes you proud to be British'. The production featured Maggie Steed, Jackie Clune, Hannah Spearritt, Marc Baylis Gina Beck, Joseph Macnab, Christopher Logan, Michael Lindall and Robin Soans in the lead roles.

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