The Beaux' Stratagem


The Beaux' Stratagem

Full-Length Play, Comedy  /  5w, 8m

Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig’s Adaptation of
By George Farquhar

Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig's adaptation of George Farquhar's classic farce abounds with unrequited love, deception, misunderstanding and hilarity.
  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    5w, 8m
  • Duration
    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Period
The Beaux' Stratagem


Adapted by Thornton Wilder and Ken Ludwig from the play by George Farquhar. The play tells the story of two young bucks who, having spent all their money by living too well, leave London and roam from town to town in search of love and fortune. In order to find a wealthy heiress for at least one of them, they pose as master and servant – exchanging roles from one town to the next. In Lichfield, Aimwell is the master and Archer the servant, and there they meet the lovely, wealthy Dorinda and her equally desirable sister-in-law, Mrs. Kate Sullen. They set their caps for these women, but problems abound. Kate is married to a drunken sot who despises her; the innkeeper's saucy daughter, Cherry, has set her cap for Archer; Dorinda's mother, Lady Bountiful, mistakenly believes herself to be a great healer of the sick, and she guards her daughter like a dragoness; and a band of brigands plans to rob the house of Lady Bountiful that very night, putting all schemes in jeopardy. This is a play in the great tradition of Goldsmith's She Stoops to Conquer and Sheridan's The Rivals and The School for Scandal. It is classic, formal, robust and hilarious.
BONIFACE - landlord of an inn
CHERRY - the landlord’s daughter
DANIEL - the landlord’s servant
A LADY - set upon by robbers and disconcerted by it
JACK ARCHER - a gentleman of broken fortune, acting as a servant
TOM AIMWELL - a gentleman of broken fortune, acting as his master
GLOSS - a man of two professions, highwayman and clergyman
MRS. KATE SULLEN - Lady Bountiful’s daughter-in-law
DORINDA - Lady Bountiful’s daughter
LADY BOUNTIFUL - a country gentlewoman, foolishly fond of her son
SCRUB - servant to Sullen
A COUNTRY WOMAN - seeking medical advice
SULLEN - Lady Bountiful’s son, brutal to his wife
SERVANTS - serving in the Sullen Household
HOUNSLOW - a highwayman
BAGSHOT - a highwayman
SIR CHARLES FREEMAN - Mrs. Sullen’s brother
FOIGARD - a French parson anxious to perform a wedding
  • Time Period 18th Century
  • Setting Lichfield, England, 1707
  • Duration More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol
    • Mild Adult Themes


“A delightful romp!... A sparklingly funny evening.” – Potomac Stages

“A sparkling production... The dialogue crackles, the characters engage the audience's interest and sympathy, and the whole thing seems almost effortless.” –

“A delightful romp... A sparklingly funny evening that... plays very well indeed.” – Potomac Stages


Beaux’ and Belles
by Ken Ludwig
January 31, 2013

For more info, visit


  • Meet The Playwright: Ken Ludwig youtube thumbnail

    Meet The Playwright: Ken Ludwig

  • Thornton Wilder: It's Time youtube thumbnail

    Thornton Wilder: It's Time


  • Musical Style N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal DemandsN/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size N/A (Not a musical)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.


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Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at Yale and Princeton, was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works explore the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience. The Bridge of San Luis Rey, one ...

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Ken Ludwig

Ken Ludwig has had six productions on Broadway and eight in London’s West End. His 34 plays and musicals are staged around the world and throughout the United States every night of the year.

His first play, Lend Me a Tenor, won two Tony Awards and was called “one of the classi ...

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