This brilliant black comedy by Emmy award-winning Ron Hutchinson (Rat in the Skull, Moonlight and Magnolias) casts light on the patron saint of dandies – Beau Brummell (1778 – 1840). Sean Brosnan (Dr. Who, The Forsyte Saga) and Richard Latham (Casualty, Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em) bring this exciting revival to life.
Not seen in London for 15 years, the script has been updated by Hutchinson to refresh and reinvigorate the text which seems even more resonant in today’s celebrity obsessed world.
Beau Brummell was the original ‘celebrity’ but is largely forgotten now. He revolutionised fashion, style and attitude in the early 19th Century and Jermyn Street, Bond Street and Savile Row exist largely because of his patronage of London’s tailors. His legacy is celebrated in his statue on Jermyn Street.
It is the winter of 1819. The most stylish man of his day lives in exile in a madhouse in Calais. The mind of George Bryan Brummell, known as The Beau, revels in past glories when he dominated the worlds of fashion, wit and dress. He is convinced that his old friend and patron the Prince of Wales (now King George IV) will visit him and restore his position in society. Today, the King is coming to Calais! Beau’s valet, however, fired by revolutionary zeal, has other plans for the British monarch…
Director Peter Craze (Doctor Who, Eastenders, Blake’s 7) comments, We are delighted to be bringing Ron Hutchinson’s superb play back to Beau Brummell’s spiritual home of Jermyn Street. Two years ago we dealt with the fall of another dandy in The Trials of Oscar Wilde. Now we are telling the story of the original wit and man of fashion. Brummell once said that ‘To be truly elegant, one should not be noticed’ and now he is largely forgotten. We hope this production will go some way to restoring his reputation.
Brummell was the first man to be famous just for being famous but, like Oscar Wilde seventy years later, he had a tragic fall from grace. Combining the grandeur of King Lear with the regency farce of Blackadder III, the play examines questions of class, style, romanticism, revolution, dementia and decay. As Beau Brummell, Sean Brosnan is haughty, cool, racked with impotent rage and convincingly mad. His coarse-grained valet,
BEAU BRUMMELL – AN ELEGANT MADNESS plays 13 February – 11 March 2017 at Jermyn Street Theatre http://www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk/
Photo: Emily Hyland