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A Mad World My Masters - UK Tour

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
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Success of RSC comedy leads to UK tour
Saucy, fun and a quintessential British comedy, it is no surprise that the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) is reviving A Mad World My Masters for a UK tour.

A Mad World 1
Success of the debut of A Mad World My Masters has led to a UK tour in 2015

This latest production, by Sean Foley, premiered in 2013 at the Swan theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon where it received rave reviews.

English Touring Theatre has now agreed to let more theatre-goers experience the modern and exciting production with a tour visiting theatres across the country including London, Wolverhampton, Malvern and Cornwall.

The play, dating back to Jacobean times in 1605 and written by Thomas Middleton, follows a motley crew of likeable characters. Instead of the Tudor period, Foley has cleverly transported the story into the seedy world of 1950s London Soho.

Foley and colleague Phil Porter have also expertly edited and crafted an abridged, modernised version that the audience can fully embrace. It's a combination of slapstick and PG Wodehouse-type shenanigans as we follow two storylines that eventually combine.

A Mad World 2
Transferred into 1950s Soho, A Mad World My Masters is a hilarious romp

Along one strand there is a dashingly bachelor who turns con-man to fool his rich uncle and get some quick cash to fuel his lifestyle. It means he must take on ridiculous identities in front of his uncle including a lord and a high class call girl. Then there is the other storyline where a streetgirl is helping out a couple embarking on an extra-marital love affair behind a dim-witted husband's back.

Sean Foley said, "After working on A Mad World My Masters at the RSC studio, and then in production at The Swan, we came to one simple conclusion: though pretty unknown, this is one of the most hilariously wicked plays ever written.

"Love and Fortune are its themes, but we're never left in any doubt that what we're really talking about is Sex and Money - and how if you have the one, you can use it to get the other... It is an anarchic, extremely funny satirical comedy that manages to be both outrageous but sweetly daft.

With our 1950's-style club band and fantastic R'n'B soul singer framing the action we could have live music too - which we know that the original had."

A Mad World My Masters - UK Tour Dates

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre - 26-28 February 2015
Box Office: 01902 42 92 12

Blackpool Grand 3 7 March 2015
Box Office: 01253 290 190

Theatre Royal, Brighton - 10 14 March 2015
Box Office: 0844 871 7650

Malvern Theatres - 24 - 28 March 2015
Box Office: 01684 892 277

Hall for Cornwall - 31 March - 4 April 2015
Box Office: 01872 262 466

Darlington Civic Theatre - 14 - 18 April 2015
Box Office: 01325 486 555

Cambridge Arts Theatre - 21- 25 April 2015.
Box Office: 01223 503 333

Barbican Theatre, London - 27 April 2015 - 9 May 2015
Box Office: 0207 638 8891 Tickets on sale from September 2014 from the Barbican website.
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Why? See a critically acclaimed bawdy comedy
When: From February 26, 2015
Where: UK Tour including London, Wolverhampton, Malvern, Cambridge and Cornwall
Cost: From 12.50
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