ThEATRE ThE WAY TO KEEp hIM spOTLITEs@THE MErCHANT’s HALL (VENUE 278) HHHHH
THIs regency play by Arthur Murray was originally staged in 1760 with David Garrick in the leading role.
Artifice, a new professional company devoted to reviving infrequently performed plays in period settings, has chosen a reception room in the Merchant’s Hall to make its Edinburgh debut.
It’s billed as site-specific which isn’t quite true – a light and airy living room would have been better suited to the play, which still sparkles with wit after more than 300 years.
Murray satirised the new consumerism of the time, with men becoming dandies and devoting themselves to pleasure. His play features some strong and fascinating women, who he warns not to become complacent in a world where men suddenly have so much opportunity to amuse themselves.
The eight players give a spirited and amusing performance which dusts off Murray’s text and brings it to life. The elaborate costumes, by Hilary Baxter, are really stunning, although possibly they made the actors too hot. Unfortunately for the audience, this meant the air conditioning was switched up so high it was like sitting in a fridge.
Until 30 August. Today 4:15pm.