This was a Royal Shakespeare Company production of Ben Jonson’s great final masterpiece. If The Tempest was Shakespeare’s last great artistic statement, this was Ben Jonson’s, but where Shakespeare’s metaphor for the world of the imagination was an island, Jonson’s was an inn.
Brilliant as it is, the play seems to have suffered from a disastrous first production. Jonson had been paralysed by a stroke in the previous year and was not present at the performance, but the reports of friends caused him to exempt only two of the actors from the charge (on the title-page of the published edition of 1631) that the play was ‘never acted, but most negligently play’d’.
The first preview of this production at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on 4th November 1987 was the second ever performance of the play. It opened to the press on the 10th November and ran in repertoire until the end of the Stratford season before transferring to the People’s Theatre in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where it played from 8th-13th February.
|Directed by John Caird|
|Designed by||](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sue_Blane)[Sue Blane|
|Lighting by Wayne Dowdeswell|
|Music by Guy Woolfenden|
|Assistant Director||Bill Buffery|
|Stage Manager||Michael Dembowicz|
|Deputy Stage Manager||Alison Owen|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Jayne Hedley-Boreham|
|Goodstock, *the Host*||Joseph O’Conner|
|Lady Frampul||Fiona Shaw|
|Sir Glorious Tipto||Richard McCabe|
|Bat Burst||William Chubb|
|Hodge Huffle||Ian Bailey|
|Nick Stuff||Ian Barritt|
|Pinnacia Stuff||Jane Leonard|