As Restoration Comedies go, Farquhar's late addition to the canon seems accessible and in many respects rather progressive. His cynicism about the charms of matrimony will resound with many audience members, and the pro-feminist message of being able to love who you wish, with the possibility to escape from an unhappy marriage would have certainly been shocking to his contemporaries.
The Beaux' Stratagem
The 'Beaux': Mr Aimwell and Mr Archer, two charming, dissolute young men who have blown their fortunes in giddy London. Shamed and debt-ridden, they flee to provincial Lichfield. Their 'Stratagem': to marry for money.
Olivier Theatre, National
South Bank, London, SE1 9PX