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Cheek by Jowl reunite with the Russian ensemble ‘so electrifyingly intense they make your hair stand on end’ (The Times) for the first time since Measure for Measure in this outrageous farce.

The London Merchant, a drama about dysfunctional families begins. But suddenly, from the audience, a grocer and his wife clamber onto the stage, explaining to the astonished actors that while they quite like the play, it could be a bit better – more exciting. Exotic locations, singing and dancing, and the appearance of a Knight are just the things to cheer the evening up. And, luckily, their apprentice Rafe is the man for the job.

Bursting onto the scene at a critical moment when the existence of theatre was threatened by a popular movement increasingly hostile to art and culture, Francis Beaumont’s subversive comedy of 1607 subtly asks questions that are relevant still. Director Declan Donnellan and designer Nick Ormerod collaborate with Moscow’s eminent Pushkin Theatre once more on this play within a play.

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