Photographs of Ken Nwosu, Mark Lockyer and Richard Leeming in The Alchemist, 2016

Description

Polly Findlay’s fast-paced production of The Alchemist breathed life into Ben Jonson’s wickedly witty Renaissance satire. Breaking away from a traditional rendition of the play, Findlay’s cast shattered the fourth wall by appearing in their own, 21st century clothes for the final moments on stage. It was a visual twist that added substance to Face’s wry observation that the theatre is itself a trick: ‘this pelf / [...] rests / To feast you often, and invite new guests’ (Act 5, Scene 5, ll. 164–66).

The actors on stage are paid to perform fictions, just as the conning characters of Face, Subtle and Doll do within the play.

Full title:
THE ALCHEMIST by Ben Jonson design: Helen Goddard lighting: Charles Balfour director: Polly Findlay
Created:
2 June 2016, Stratford-upon-Avon
Format:
Photograph / Image
Creator:
Donald Cooper [photographer]
Usage terms

© Donald Cooper / Photostage
www.photostage.co.uk

Held by
Photostage
Shelfmark:
00089388; 00089390

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Directing Ben Jonson’s The Alchemist

Article by:
Polly Findlay
Themes:
Renaissance writers, Deception, drama and misunderstanding, Comedies, Magic, illusion and the supernatural

Polly Findlay discusses the challenges of directing Ben Jonson's play, The Alchemist.

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