Shakespeare’s Writing Partners: A Trick To Catch The Old One is the second in this series. It’s from the very varied and successful work of Thomas Middleton, who’s been dubbed ‘our other Shakespeare.’ It’s a comedy, but not of the romantic kind: rather, a sharp-edged brittle comedy pitting young against old, a cash-strapped nephew against a money-laden uncle while at the same time young Witgood is trying to find his former lover a proper place in the world. There’s disguise, there’s fraud, there’s chasing, all in the coolly-observed streets and taverns of London at the beginning of the 1600s.
Middleton is now recognized as Shakespeare’s partner in writing Timon of Athens, and Trick shows why he was brought on board. There’s the same light, fluent, rapid satire of the urban moneyed that you get with Timon’s creditors and false friends. A Trick To Catch The Old One is one of our greatest playmakers emerging into his full strength.
As always, the reading is a cold table reading. You just turn up, choose a role or have one handed to you, and then we read through from start to finish. You don’t need any experience or prior knowledge.
Here’s a link to a prepared reading script: a-trick-to-catch-the-old-one
If you can’t print it yourself, there will be a few copies at the reading.
If you have an e-reader you might like to read the play in the Delphi Classics Middleton e-book—–all 32 of his plays in one package for £2.41. There are a couple of good selections of his work in Oxford World’s Classics (Trick is in A Mad World My Masters and Other Plays) and Penguin includes Trick in Five Plays by Middleton. And if you go on a real Middleton jag, the Oxford Collected Works remarkable for content, presentation and level of support it gives someone beginning Middleton.
The KiSS reading of A Trick To Catch The Old One is on Thursday, 2nd March at 6.30pm in the Gallery of the Rose Theatre at Kingston.