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Wednesday 8 Saturday 11 February 2006

The Art of Success

By Nick Dear
Directed by David Shirley

Frequently bawdy and shocking, occasionally dark and disturbing, yet always intensely gripping, The Art of Success offers an extraordinary glimpse into the life of one of England’s most celebrated artists.

Concerned less with historical fact than with the dramatic potential afforded by a more speculative approach to the creator of works such as The Harlot’s Progress (1732), The Rake’s Progress (1735) and Gin Lane (1751), Dear is both uncompromising and unapologetic in his search for a ‘good story’.

Cramming ten eventful years into a single day, the playwright serves up a highly imaginative, thoroughly scurrilous, but nonetheless highly entertaining vision of the often frantic escapades of artists and politicians, of royalty and prostitutes, and of prime ministers and murderesses.

By boldly exposing and subverting our often romanticised notions of the Age of Enlightenment and the achievements associated with it, Dear reminds us of the venal, acquisitive and frequently individualistic instincts that can both inform and impede the desire for progress.

David Shirley


Claire Holland - Jane Hogarth
Paul Stevens - William Hogarth
Christopher Green - Harry Fielding
Robyn Lewis - Frank
Freddie Machin - Oliver
Sara Fisher - Mrs. Needham
Louise Morris - Louisa
Ruth Westley - Sarah Sprackling
Matthew Dudley - Robert Walpole
Katie Leahy - Queen Caroline
Joe Ransom, James Britton - Servants