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Our Regency Repertoire

 Georgian Plays  (circa 1780-1830)Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds - Facade

In co-operation with the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds,
we present a series of fascinating titles, each of which
has been explored initially in a rehearsed reading.
In some cases the plays have been adapted from the
original text, and all
have undergone a full-scale production at the Theatre, receiving significant interest and acclaim from audiences.

Dating from 1819, the Theatre Royal is the only surviving fully operational Regency Theatre in the UK. In September 2005 a £5.3million restoration project was launched to restore the building to its original 1819 configuration and decorative scheme.

In addition to the restoration of the building, the Theatre's artistic team researched and re-discovered many of the lost texts of the Georgian repertoire with the aim of producing these plays in the restored Theatre for modern audiences to enjoy. The Theatre re-opened on 11 September 2007 with a production of the 1829 nautical melodrama, 'Black Eyed Susan', written by Douglas Jerrold.

Under the banner of Restoring the Repertoire™, these plays continue to be performed at the Theatre and we are now able to bring you a series of these versions: fully restored, 'road tested' through a professional production, and ready for further productions in educational, amateur or professional venues.

The available titles are ...

'He's Much To Blame' He's Much To Blame by Thomas Holcroft

Principals : 4m, 3f     Support : 2m, 1f, 1m/f
Outside London, a young woman named Maria is looking for her long lost love. Staying in a bizarre hotel she encounters all stations of Georgian society, romantic rivals and dangerous enemies, as her search descends into a whirlwind story of disguises, hidden secrets, ancient grudges and current fancies. We are offered a cartoon-like glimpse of the great and grotesque of Georgian England - seeing fashion-mongers, time-servers, flatterers, the obscenely wealthy, the working poor, deceivers, idealists and even quack doctors.
'The Massacre' by Elizabeth Inchbald The Massacre by Elizabeth Inchbald

Principals : 6m, 2f     Support : 1f, 3/m/f
Riots have led to a bloody genocide in the metropolis; the violence is quickly spilling beyond the city walls and engulfing the provinces. Trapped inside their home, one rural family must decide what action to take: to fight, to flee or to throw themselves on the mercy of their aggressors. Their debate and consequences of their actions are a thought provoking insight into the nature of human violence and mob mentality: what choices do we really have when, on both sides, fear and hatred have taken hold?
'Wives as they Were and Maids as they Are'  Wives as they Were, and Maids as they Are by Elizabeth Inchbald

Principals : 5m, 3f    Support : 2m, 2m/f
Miss Maria Dorillon is an intelligent and independent-minded young woman continually criticised and repressed by her fusty male guardians. Although virtuous, loyal and caring, she is constantly tempted by the high life of 18th century London and suffers from gambling problems and debt. Throughout the play we follow her journey to find her place in society: to either reconcile herself to old ways, or to modern fashion. Should she be a ‘wife of former times’ or a ‘maid of the present day’?