Polly Findlay directs the Royal Shakespeare Company’s revival of Ben Jonson’s savage satirical comedy The Alchemist, transferring to the Barbican Theatre for a limited season.
Set in a plague-infested London, The Alchemist follows the fallout when the wealthy Lovewit flees to the country, leaving his townhouse in the hands of trusted butler Jeremy.
No sooner has his master left, however, than Jeremy begins turning the house into a den of criminal activity, setting out to rip off half of London with the aid of fellow conman Subtle and prostitute Doll Common.
With every knock at the front door another unwitting victim to be relieved of their cash, things could not be going better for the fortunate trio – until they receive a very unwelcome visitor.
A hilarious satire that revels in just how vain we humans can be, the Royal Shakespeare Company’s successful staging of Jonson’s classic text receives a limited run at the Barbican Theatre.