Who's the Dupe?
We're delighted to be partnering with Creation Theatre and director Colin Blumenau to mount a professional, script-in-hand performance of Hannah Cowley's riotous farce, Who's the Dupe? (1779).
When and where?
Tuesday 3rd May 2022, 5.30pm BST
Mordan Hall, St Hugh's College, Oxford
Tickets are FREE and can be booked here.
Can't make the performance?
Don't worry! We'll be recording the performance and will make this video available to everyone for a limited time - and, upon request, to researchers, teachers, and students any time!
About the play
Elizabeth’s father – a rich, Cockney merchant – is determined to marry her to a man of learning. The man in question is Gradus, a stuffy Oxford academic who knows a lot about obscure Greek and Latin texts and nothing at all about how to woo a woman. But Elizabeth has other ideas. Her preference is for Granger, a poor but dashing captain in the army (who loves Elizabeth… and her fortune). With the aid of her cousin and Granger’s friend, can Elizabeth see to it that Granger not Gradus wins her hand? In this unforgettable farce, the scholar must pass as a man of fashion, and the man of fashion as a scholar.
The creative team
Director Colin Blumeneau was Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds from September 1996 until July 2012. During his tenure the building was restored to its original 1819 state, whilst his 'Restoring the Repertoire' initiative gained national prominence as it began to explore some of the forgotten plays of the Georgian period. No one in the world has more experience directing the 1660-1830 repertory, from George Lillo to Elizabeth Inchbald and from John O'Keeffe to Douglas Jerrold.
Based in Oxford, UK, Creation Theatre are leaders in site specific and digital theatre. When the arts changed for ever in spring 2020, they used their 20+ years’ experience performing in unusual locations and turned the innovation, creativity and adaptability that they are known for to making live digital theatre.
Workshopping the play
This script-in-hand performance will mark the culmination of a day spent rehearsing the play. Actors will be joined in rehearsal by a small group of scholars who specialise in 18th-century British theatre. The aim is to make the rehearsal room a lab for exploring how plays such as Cowley's think and work. What can we learn from the on-your-feet, embodied process of performance that reading these plays can't teach us? How can we make 18th-century stagecraft, language, ideas speak to today's audiences?
This event is made possible by funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.