George Farquhar’s The Recruiting Officer is a classic English Restoration comedy featuring the womanising Captain Plume and his adventures and mis-adventures with Sylvia - a seductive heiress and daughter of a local gentleman. Forbidden by her father to marry the notorious Plume, Sylvia disguises herself as a man and seeks to become one of Plume’s “recruits”. Needless to say, all ends happily and all complications are resolved. Despite its light-hearted approach The Recruiting Officer accurately reflects the realities of eighteenth century recruiting practices and the place of women in a male-dominated society.
The Recruiting Officer can be enjoyed as a stand-alone production. However, Next Stage is proud to present it in conjunction with:
Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Australia, 1788. The First Fleet from Britain lands in Botany Bay. Whilst the officers in charge of the penal colony hunt and shoot the native kangaroos and aborigines alike, the small-time criminals in their charge are being persuaded by Second Lieutenant Ralph Clark RN to stage a play: The Recruiting Officer. Celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2013 Timberlake Wertenbaker’s iconic play, Our Country’s Good, tells the story of this first production in Australia, performed thousands of miles from London with only two copies of the text, a cast of convicts and a leading lady about to be hanged.
Next Stage’s Artistic Director Ann Garner has wanted to replicate the double bill of Our Country’s Good and The Recruiting Officer ever since 1988 when she first saw the plays performed in Bath by Max Stafford-Clark’s original company. Twenty five years on, Ann has teamed up with another Next Stage director, John Matthews, to make her dream a reality. Taking a play apiece and using acclaimed Next Stage actors, the two directors are proud to present this ambitious double bill giving Bath audiences the chance, on alternate days, to see Our Country’s Good and The Recruiting Officer as presented by the convict cast of the First Fleet!
Don’t miss this high spot of our summer season!