The Libertine is an enjoyable, but rather unfulfilling play. The Earl of Rochester is an intriguing figure, and Dominic Cooper’s is a witty and energetic portrayal. Yet in spite of the high calibre performances and tremendous dialogue – I lost count of the number of phrases I felt “I must look up” – The Libertine is a rather aimless piece. For all the philosophising and avarice, at its heart are two incongruously conventional romantic narratives. In spite of good performances by Ophelia Lovibond and Alice Bailey Johnson, these fail to draw complete conclusions about Rochester’s desire to love himself and others, and reconcile how such a passionate man could let his thirst for life slip away like so many empty carafes.
We are pleased to bring you these great production images for Stephen Jeffreys’ sexually charged restoration piece The Libertine, which stars Dominic Cooper. John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester is a charismatic poet, playwright and rake with a legendary appetite for excess. Yet this most ardent of hedonists is forced to reconsider everything he thinks and feels when a chance encounter with an actress at the Playhouse sends him reeling. With flair and wit, this wild romp through 1670s London offers an incisive critique of life in an age of excess. The Libertine runs at the Theatre Royal Haymarket from 22 September to 3 December 2016. Photos: Alastair Muir BOOK NOW FOR THE LIBERTINE
With the death of provincial repertory theatre, the connections between the theatre world of London and ‘the provinces’ have atrophied, and where The Miniaturists could make a real difference is in taking their project of fully-staged short plays into other parts of the country and gathering in work from local authors.