Francis Beaumont’s anarchic play The Knight Of The Burning Pestle was one of the first madcap, mash-up, screwball comedies to hit the English stage.

A play within a play, The Knight Of The Burning Pestle tells the story of a grocer and his wife who go to see a local play entitled The London Merchant. Angered that plays are always about nobility but it is common people like them who pay to see them, the couple force themselves on to the stage, wreaking havoc on the production and causing the addition of a new character, a knight who will unhold the honour of the grocery business.

Combining salty colloquial prose with charming songs, the play was originally written to be performed at the Blackfriars Playhouse by the Children of the Queen’s Revels.

Directed by Adele Thomas, the cast includes Giles Cooper, John Dougall, Phil Daniels, Samuel Hargreaves, Dennis Herdman, Sarah MacRae, Pauline McLynn, Matthew Needham, Dean Nolan, Brendan O’Hea, Hannah McPake, Paul Rider, Dickon Tyrrell and Alex Waldmann.

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