Dominic Hill set to direct revival of The Libertine at Citizens Theatre

Stephen Jeffreys’ 1994 play about exploits of John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester

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Dominic Hill set to direct revival of The Libertine at Citizens Theatre

Stephen Jeffreys’ 1994 play about the artistic and sexual appetites of John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester, in free-living 1670s London was made famous a decade later with a film version starring Johnny Depp. Yet surprisingly, this revival from Citz’ artistic director Dominic Hill will be its first major production since being originally staged. ‘The fact it’s a modern play set in a past time means we can have our cake and eat it,’ says Hill. ‘It has all the wit, banter and bawdiness of Restoration comedy and the relevance and accessibility of a contemporary play.’

It’s this contemporary relevance which, Hill believes, gives the production (starring Citz newcomers Martin Hutson as Rochester and Gillian Saker as Elizabeth Barry) an edge. ‘For all its wit and bawdiness, it’s a play about something incredibly serious: a man searching for truth and meaning in a world that’s shallow and celebrity-obsessed,’ he says. ‘It’s about the role of art and theatre in life, a celebration of theatricality, and the Citz is a building that reeks of the joy and exuberance of theatre. It also has a history of presenting plays that are outrageous and visually striking: The Libertine has all those elements.’

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow, Sat 3–Sat 24 May

The Libertine

Stephen Jeffreys' romp about John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester. Directed by Dominic Hill.

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