THE BEAUX STRATEGEM
Written by George Farquhah.
Bernard starred as Archer.
Performed at the Castle Theatre, Farnham, in 1974.
"Wonderful saucy, sexy Restoration comedy. I played Archer with, I was told, a twinkle in my eye and a spring in my step! One memorable evening, at a civic gala indeed, during a crucial moment of the play I was bent on seducing the luscious Mrs Sullen. As I picked her up to throw her onto the bed I felt one of the two buttons on my britches pull apart. At the same moment two robbers enter and I engage in a little sword play with them all the while conscious that my pants are falling down, in fact I was holding them up with one hand and fencing with the other. Then very clearly I heard a women in the front row say, “Look, his trousers are falling down!” Well, I could no longer ignore this small catastrophe so I quickly disabled the villains as per the script and clutching my britches I was able to use the next line of the play, “Here, Madame, lend me your garter!” (intending to use the garter to tie up the villains) but adding the line, ”To stop my britches falling down!!” Of course, this little ad-lib stopped the show and others members of the cast rushed onto the stage with safety pins, rope and a belt! The non-period safety pin saved the day and we continued on our jolly way. At the Gala reception afterwards the only real topic of conversation seemed to be about my trousers as virtually the entire audience wanted to tall me about that ad-lib! Ah, the joys of live theatre!
“The Beaux Stratagem” played at the little Castle Theatre in Farnham in Surrey before it was pulled down and replaced with the Redgrave Theatre, though that too has been through bad times and enthusiasts are trying it get it up and running again."