Tickets now available for A Trick to Catch the Old One


“The world is so deceitful!” (Courtesan, Act III Scene i)

Theodorus Witgood, a pleasure-loving young spendthrift, has mortgaged his estates to his uncle Pecunius Lucre, a covetous London moneylender and ruthless swindler. In the hope of freeing himself of debt Witgood and his mistress concoct an elaborate plan in which she will masquerade as a rich widow, newly arrived from the country – and his new fiancée! Inevitably other suitors soon begin to covet the rich widow, chiefly Walkadine Hoard. Lucre’s greatest adversary, Hoard hatches a cunning plot of his own to deprive Witgood of his fiancée and the widow of her fortune.

Thomas Middleton’s A Trick To Catch The Old One is an funny, bitter, provocative and deeply ironic city comedy where each character tries to deceive the others in a continuous game of bluff and counter-bluff. It was first performed c. 1605 by “Paul’s Boys”, one of the two popular boys’ companies of the day. This is the third time Edward’s Boys have taken on Middleton, following acclaimed productions of A Mad World, My Masters in 2010 and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside in 2011.

There will be four performances.

Thursday March 9th 2017, 7.30pm
The Simpkins Lee Theatre, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, OX2 6QA.
Tickets: £10.00 (Concs £8.00)

Friday March 10th 2017, 7.30pm
Levi Fox Hall, King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BE.
Tickets: £10.00 (Concs £6.00)

Saturday March 11th 2017, 7.30pm
Drama Studio, Institute of Education, University College London, WC1H 0AL.
Tickets: £12.00 (Concs £8.00)

Sunday 12th March 2017, 7.30pm
Levi Fox Hall, King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon, CV37 6BE.
Tickets: £10.00 (Concs £6.00)

Tickets for all performances are available online via and in person from the school Box Office.

Edward’s Boys

The Woman Hater at La Maison des Choeurs, Montpellier, March 2016

Edward’s Boys, an all-boy theatre company comprising students from King Edward VI School, Stratford-upon-Avon (“Shakespeare’s School”), have received critical praise and popular success as a result of their work exploring the repertoire of the boys’ companies from the early modern period. Their last major production, Beaumont’s The Woman Hater (above), was included in the ‘Arts of the Year 2016’ list in The Times Literary Supplement. In the words of Professor Emma Smith (Hertford College, Oxford), the Edward’s Boys’ project, ‘is the most sustained attempt to re-imagine what we think boy companies could do – and it will really re-write the academic theatre history books.’

“Edward’s Boys are a firm fixture on the map of the English theatrical scene—and they have also changed the map of how we think about early modern theatre (not just boys’ company plays).  The boys – of all ages – are simultaneously innocent and knowing in performance, keeping city comedy teetering on the brink of send-up and making revenge tragedy able to confront its own excess.”
Professor Laurie Maguire, Magdalen College, Oxford

“They are our modern day “Little Eyases”, as the companies of boy performers were referred to in Hamlet. But in fact the exercise is much more than that, and should I think be seen, as it deserves to be, in the wider context of Shakespeare study and performance worldwide…for me as a Shakespeare director, with particular interest in the repertoire of his contemporaries, these productions have proved invaluable… Forgive me for going on at length, but I think the school is producing something rather miraculous, and I suspect it is too easy for that to go unsaid.
So I am saying it.”
Gregory Doran, Artistic Director, Royal Shakespeare Company