Set in 1745 at the height of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rebellion, and based on the famous comic novel by Henry Fielding. Tom Jones is a foundling, raised by the kindly Squire Allworthy. A handsome, adventurous lad, decent at heart, Tom develops a fatal weakness for the fairer sex. Incapable of self-control, he falls into a succession of ill-advised liaisons, getting into scrape after scrape as a result. All of which very nearly costs him the hand of the adorable Sophia – his one true love.
In the course of his rollicking adventures, Tom encounters all sorts of over-the-top characters, and engages in lots of swashbuckling, swordfights, and tumbles in the hay.
A roistering comedy and a penetrating, eyewitness account of Eighteenth Century England, Fielding’s masterwork was not only an exhilarating romp, but also a savage satire on the society which the author saw around him. On its publication in 1746 Tom Jones caused outrage in polite society of the day – probably because it painted a vividly unflattering picture of a society which wasn’t very polite at all!
Whilst Tom Jones is the central character in this play, his adventures have been seasoned with a few other ingredients, with the objective of creating a full-blown eighteenth century romp – a picaresque assembly of archetypes from that Age of Reason. From the young rake himself, to the vulpine highwayman, the bumbling innkeeper, and the wily recruiting sergeant – abetted by every quivering species of ripely bucolic wench or raddled lady of pleasure, on hand to bring joy and contention to the lives of this same disreputable cast of gentlemen.
The result is a roistering Fantasia on a theme of Olde England – a mythic milieu, where carefree, handsome Tom roves knee-deep through sunlit, hay-filled meadows, his indiscretions behind him, his fortune and a clutch of swashbuckling adventures awaiting him.
Cast: Principals 4M 4F, plus ensemble playing of around 25 further roles.
Boniface, a landlord
Gibbett, a highwayman
Landlord of the Dragon Inn
Black George Seagrim, a gamekeeper
Mr Dowling, an attorney
A French Lieutenant
A post boy
Mrs Jenny Waters
Mrs Harriet Fitzpatrick
Abigail Honour, maid to Sophia
Cherry, daughter to Boniface
Landlady, of the Phoenix Inn, Upton
Susan, chambermaid of the Phoenix
Landlady of the Dragon Inn, Malvern
Serving girl at the Dragon
Betty, maid to Mrs Fitzpatrick
If you like this, you’ll like these too.