beaux stratagem

George Farquhar (1677 – 29 April 1707)

Irish dramatist. He is noted for his contributions to late Restoration comedy, particularly for his plays The Recruiting Officer (1706) and The Beaux’ Stratagem (1707). (Wikipedia)

From our stacks: Frontispiece “Mr. Farquhar.” from The Recruiting Officer: A Comedy, By George Farquhar. As it was Acted at the Theatre-Royal in Drury-Lane, By Her Majesty’s Servants Anno 1706. With a Note on the Author and the Play by Sir Edmund Gosse; And embellish’d with designs by Véra Willoughby. London: Printed for Peter Davies, 1926.

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Even though I couldn’t be on hand to accept my Oscar when I won it (for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie), I visualised it afterwards, so riding up to the Music Center and seeing the crowds, the excitement was a little like a replay for me. The flashbulbs and the fanfare were incredible. Bleachers full of people, and Michael and I trying to look terribly cool in our Rolls Royce. I will never forget it, just as I’ll always remember the night I won the first award. I was appearing in London in a play called The Beaux Stratagem and wasn’t feeling at all well. When I finally got to sleep, the phone awakened me at six in the morning with the wonderful news about the Oscar. I had an instant cure.

- Maggie Smith, winner of the 1979 Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar for California Suite, on filming part of the movie at the Academy Awards the previous year.

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“There was Maggie Smith – seen one moment on film rolling a wine glass across her forehead as the affectedly sexy Myra in Coward’s Hay Fever, the next moment present in the flesh to deliver a speech from Farquhar’s The Beaux’ Stratagem with unadorned simplicity. And to see Judi Dench moving from Shakespeare’s Cleopatra to Sondheim’s Desiree in A Little Night Music was to receive an object lesson in the power of physical stillness and flawless articulation.” (National theatre’s 50th birthday gala)