- by Ron Hutchinson - - directed by Peter Craze -    
a Dual Theatre Company presentation      
Ron's thoughts

Beau Brummell was one of the most extraordinary of all Englishmen in a time rich in English wits, dandies, beaus and eccentrics. Notorious for regularly having his manservant re-tie his stock twenty three separate times until it was perfect -- with each of the rejected stocks having to be freshly laundered and starched -- his devotion to dress and outer appearance masked a deeper concern for the role of style in human life.

His total devotion to perfecting his own style led to him becoming the arbiter of taste in English life for over twenty years; he has good claim to being the first modern 'celebrity', famous not so much for anything he did as for who he was.

A public rupture with his lifetime friend and patron, the Prince Regent, victim of one of his more merciless jabs of wit, led ultimately to disaster, social and personal. Beggared by his lifelong addiction to gambling -- a further expression of his belief in style above all -- he was forced to flee to France. Years of poverty, exile and finally madness lay ahead, but throughout he never lost his belief in the highly personal code he lived by.

Despite the ruin of his public world, he still retained hopes that there might be a rapprochement with the Prince and a return to his previous central position in English life. The play is set on the day when the Prince, now King, visits Calais, where the Beau, living with his raffish manservant Austin, appears confidently to expect the long estrangement will be at an end...

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