When a healthy grocer and his wife are unhappy about the play they are watching, they decide to do something about it. They take to the stage, create a new storyline and cast their son, Rafe, as the leading male, a knight whose banner bears the symbol of the grocer’s trade; a pestle. As the chaos escalates, two young lovers rally desperately against the unscripted interventions.

Beaumont, who followed Shakespeare as Chief Dramatist to The King’s Men, was 23 when he created this anarchic offering. He went on to write other plays including The Woman Hater, Philaster and The Maid’s Tragedy.

The Knight Of The Burning Pestle is directed by Anna Mackmin, the young director who is currently associate director at the Gate. Her directing credits include The Dark, Mammals, Auntie And Me, Iphigenia, Breathing Corpses and Cloud Nine, for which she won a TMA award in 2004.

Rafe Spall takes the role of Rafe, the character he was named after by his father Timothy Spall. Spall has previously appeared in A Prayer For Owen Meaney at the National Theatre, The Rotters Club and Young Offenders on television, and Shaun Of The Dead and The Calcium Kid on film.

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