presented two plays in tandem,
in November 2000,
at Stantonbury Campus Theatre, Milton Keynes, Bucks
The shows may be over - but the website lingers on!

The Recruiting Officer
by George Farquhar

Captain Plume, weary from the triumphant battle of Blenheim, returns to Shrewsbury to recruit men for his regiment and women for his bed. But the recently enriched Silvia Balance wants him for herself alone, and mixes up the two forms of recruiting in a plot bordering on the farcical.

A range of comic characters from Justice Balance to Costar Pearmain portrays - with gentle satire - the huge differences in wealth and social standing in an 18th century town: and Farquhar portrays the very human weaknesses of military "heroes".

"The Recruiting Officer" was an immediate hit when it opened at Drury Lane in 1706: it became the most frequently performed play of the 18th century. This production aims to be fun for all concerned.

Our Country's Good
by Timberlake Wertenbaker

At the Sydney Cove penal colony in 1789, a young lieutenant directs rehearsals of the Restoration comedy "The Recruiting Officer". With only two copies of the text, a cast of convicts, opposition from sadistic officers, and a leading lady about to be hanged, the production is in trouble from the start...

Based on an historical incident and on Thomas Kenneally's novel "The Playmaker", Timberlake Wertenbaker's inspirational play, shows us the redemptive, transcendental power of theatre with great elegance and passion.

Now recognised as a modern classic, and an A-level set text, it was first performed at the Royal Court Theatre, London in 1988, winning the Laurence Olivier Award that year.

Directed by Jeremy Cooper
Designed by Alex Eales
Directed by Rosemary Hill
Designed by Alex Eales

These are amateur productions aiming at professional standards of preparation, presentation and performance

More about these productions

Other Resources
If you'd like to suggest a resource to add to this list, please email the details to

The texts we are working from are:

  • "Our Country's Good" by Timberlake Wertenbaker, Methuen Student Edition, 1995
  • "The Recruiting Officer" by George Farquhar, edited by John Ross, New Mermaids, 2nd edition, 1991
A key text (especially for directors) is Max Stafford-Clark's very personal and fascinating account of the Royal Court Theatre's preparation of both plays in 1988:
  • "Letters to George" by Max Stafford-Clark, Nick Hern Books, 1997
"Our Country's Good" is based on:
  • "The Playmaker" by Thomas Keneally, Sceptre, 1988
Also of interest:
  • "The Playmaker - Thomas Keneally: A Students Guide", Donhan Books, 1999

The key text for historical background to "Our Country's Good" is

  • "The Fatal Shore" by Robert Hughes, Harvill Press 1997, Pan Books Ltd 1988.

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