Written in 1798, 'He’s Much To Blame' is a satire of Georgian society – a colourful and timeless comedy full of great characters, sharp dialogue and fabulous costumes. It may have been written over 200 years ago, but it stands comparison with the modern masters of comedy theatre such as Alan Ayckbourn and John Godber.
A cast of delightfully eccentric characters, a story of love lost (and found), girls dressed as boys, and a German doctor prone to outrageous buffoonery all take the stage in this utterly charming and sharply satirical comedy. It's a Georgian gem, with characters as quirky, captivating and downright hilarious as anything by Jane Austen, and was hailed as one of the most entertaining and well-observed plays of its time.
In a hotel outside London, the story starts with an innocent young woman disguised as a boy, searching for her childhood sweetheart. We meet Lord and Lady Vibrate, one pre-occupied and dithering, the other just looking for the next chance to party.
Along with the dark and sombre Delaval, and the blundering Dr Gosterman, the stage is set for a sparkling comedy full of fabulous frocks, vile vanities and some very, very funny moments. The characters occupying the hotel act as ciphers for the vices and virtues Holcroft saw in the society of the time, and their potential to progess over just one day to become better people in the face of love, honesty and courage.
Colin Blumenau, the Director of the 2009 production at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds says ... "Most surprising of all for me is the feeling of real modernity about this play. I suppose I should no longer be so surprised that this eighteenth century repertoire offers us such a transparent window on our own twenty first century world. Yet turning the pages of the script, hearing the words and sentiments expressed from the mouths of actors, I am constantly surprised by the resonance they offer. I hope you feel the same and enjoy the work which has emanated from the unconventional pen of the radical Mr Holcroft."