Review of ‘The Alchemist’ by Ben Jonson.
As one of Ben Jonson’s most famous plays, standing alongside Volpone as one of his comic masterpieces, The Alchemist has enjoyed a wide and varied performance history since its Oxford premiere in 1610. Oxford University Drama Society’s summer production, currently running at Freud’s bar in Jericho, brings the play back to its original home in a new, tightly edited version. The production did not fail to deliver on its promise of being ‘Condensed and performed at breakneck speed’, running at only two hours long and eliminating the more peripheral characters, the Puritan duo Tribulation Wholesome and Ananias, to provide a slick and fast-paced evening of entertainment.
The greatest attribute of this production was its slapstick humour, the more bawdy elements accentuated from the outset. Howard Coase and Leo Suter somewhat stole the show, with Coase shining as Dol Common (particularly in his brief…
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