RSC brings Mad World to Barbican

Published May 30, 2014

Jacobean city comedy A Mad World My Masters, first seen at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s 2013 season, will play at the Barbican in April 2015.

Directed by Sean Foley, whose hit comedies include The Ladykillers, What The Butler Saw and Jeeves And Wooster In Perfect Nonsense, Thomas Middleton’s comedy is a tale of cultures colliding, creating a world in which a dashing young bachelor must rely on his wits to survive.

Foley’s production, which was described by the Daily Mail as “riotously funny” when it premiered in Stratford where is collected a glut of five-star reviews, moves the action from the 17th century to 1950s Soho.

Speaking about the production, Foley said: “After working on A Mad World My Masters at the RSC studio, and then in production at the Swan, we came to one simple conclusion: though pretty unknown, this is one of the most hilariously wicked plays ever written. A Mad World My Masters knows it’s having fun poking fun at the audience, and it still makes us laugh like they must have done in 1605: uproariously, and at ourselves.”

The show’s two week Barbican run, which begins on 27 April, comes as part of a National Touring Group initiative that will also take it to Wolverhampton, Blackpool, Brighton, Malvern, Truro, Darlington and Cambridge.

Casting for the production is yet to be announced.

"This is one of the most hilariously wicked plays ever written."