The Alchemist 2002

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Directed by Mark von Eschen, Set and Lighting Design by Stephen Wade, Costume Design by Beverley Kobelsky

Venue :

Before the play opens, Lovewit, the owner of the house, leaves London to escape and outbreak of the plague and puts Jeremy, his butler, in charge of the house.  Jeremy disguises himself as Captain Face and sets up a con-artist shop in the house with Subtle, the Alchemist, and Dol common, a prostitute.  As the play starts, Subtle and Face argue about who plays the most important role in their conspiracy.  The argument is interrupted by Dapper, a young law clerk, who wants a charm to give him luck at gambling.  The next “mark” is Abel Drugger who wants assistance, through necromancy, in setting up his new tobacco shop.  He also asks for assistance winning the heart of a young widow:  Dame Pliant.  The other “marks” include Sir Epicure Mammon who wants Subtle to create the Philosopher’s Stone and with it, riches and the elixir of life.  With him comes Pertinax Surly, a gambler who does not trust Subtle or believe in alchemy.  Two Puritan brothers arrive (Ananias and Tribulation Wholesome) who want extra money to further their cause, and Kastril, Dame Pliant’s brother, a country boy, who has come to town to learn the art of the quarrel.

Subtle, Face and Dol Common disguise themselves in a variety of costumes to help convince their clients to pay good money for services rendered.  Face appears as Eulen Spiegel, Subtle’s servant, and Dol appears as the Queen of Fairy and the sister of a rich Lord.  The Trick of the disguise backfires on them later when Surly arrives, disguised as a Spanish Don to uncover the crooked ways of the house.

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