The Fantastic Follies of Mrs Rich or the Beau Defeated

As a surprise birthday present, Chris booked the Swan Theatre's production of the Beau Defeated, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

This wonderful play by Mary Rix, is a heady Restoration Comedy with all the required ingredients: drama aplenty, gossip, sex, scandal and, of course, money. No-one is quite what they seem and everyone is scheming to get what they want. Fabulous. In fact, one recent reviewer, wrote that the play is: "like a Restoration version of Absolutely Fabulous". Spot on! Another review, again very apt, said that the play is "a heady combo of Legally Blonde, Keeping Up with the Kardashians and Blackadder".

Mrs Rich is a wealthy widow who aspires to rub shoulders with the great and good and perhaps even gain a title. Unfortunately, she’s not the only one after Sir John Roverhead!

Unlike Aphra Behn, a fellow female playwright from the late 1600s, Mary Pix has been almost lost to history.  Pix's play has all the ingredients of a true Restoration Comedy with the addition of a plot written and viewed from the female perspective. In one wonderful moment of the play Mrs Rich chortles "Sod the riches, wear the britches" whilst batting her eyelashes and playing the audience for all she’s worth.
Pix’s comedy of manners combines mischief-making and mind-bending plot twists with a sharp satirical and distinctly female wit. Her colourful cast of characters dupe and dissemble as the intrigue builds. Will Mrs Rich ever squeeze her way into high society?

We had a wonderful evening. Every production in the Swan Theatre is wonderful and this was no exception great actors, costumes and music. A lovely birthday treat!