Ben Jonson's 1614 play is a noisy, exuberant slice of Jacobean life. Depicting a day in the 17th-century life of the Fair, which took place every August from 1133 to 1855, the play pits Puritan excesses against the cruder vices and pleasures of the Fair's underclass—the thieves, swindlers, prostitutes, and pimps who thrived there. The clash is violent, but it's also burlesque, and the manners of the gentry are revealed to be only skin deep; they too succumb to the temptations of the Fair.|
Unforgettable characters flit across the stage, and despite their 17th-century origins they strike a familiar chord with modern audiences; we can enjoy and empathize with their faults, hypocrisies, and flashing successes. Jonson's play comes down to us, still sparkling, still beating wildly, and still redolent with the smell of roasted pig.
Mr. Crawford and Ms. Boersma are this season's Baker Artists-in-Residence. The Dexter F. and Dorothy H. Baker Foundation has for the past two decades supported our vision of a collaborative community in which professional artists can both create art and nurture the next generation of artists.
Bartholomew Fair BWW Reader Reviews