Glamour rubs up against filth in Middleton’s cynical city comedy

A Mad World My Masters
A Mad World My Masters

English Touring Theatre presents the Royal Shakespeare Company production of A Mad World My Masters.

The show comes to Theatre Royal Brighton from Tuesday to Saturday, March 10 to 14.

London, Soho, 1956. Where glamour rubs up against filth, and likes it; where the posh mix with musicians and racketeers; where ‘virginity is no city trade’, and where a dashingly impecunious bachelor in need of quick cash and a good time has to live on his wits.

Turning con-man to fool his rich uncle, he variously becomes a lord, a high class call girl, and – God forbid – a poor actor. But a beautiful Soho tart is also on the scam: a prostitute to some, a religious instructor to others, and a debutante in need of an eligible bachelor to yet more.

Thomas Middleton (1580 – 1627) was an English Jacobean dramatist and poet. His principal works include Women Beware Women, The Changeling, A Chaste Maid in Cheapside and The Revenger’s Tragedy.

The play stars Joe Bannister, Ellie Beavan, Ben Deery, Dennis Herdman, Ian Redford and Sarah Ridgeway.

Sean Foley is an award-winning actor, writer and director, and the only UK theatre creative to be Olivier nominated in all three categories.

As a director, his theatre credits include The Walworth Farce (Olympia Theatre, Dublin), I Can’t Sing! The X Factor Musical (Palladium) and Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Duke of York’s Theatre, Olivier Award for Best New Comedy).

As founder and co-artistic director of the The Right Size from 1989 to 2006, he originated, co-wrote and starred in a series of self-produced shows – Que Sera, The Bath, Flight To Finland, Moose, Penny Dreadful, Baldy Hopkins, Stop Calling Me Vernon, Hold Me Down, Do You Come Here Often? and Bewilderness. The company’s 1999 co-production with the Almeida Theatre of Mr Puntila And His Man Matti by Bertolt Brecht played sold-out runs at the Traverse, Edinburgh, and the Almeida Theatre before transferring to the Albery Theatre.

The company’s other productions included Do You Come Here Often? (Vaudeville Theatre, Olivier Award for Best Entertainment) and The Play What I Wrote (Wyndham’s Theatre, Olivier Award for Best Comedy).

Sean’s television work includes People Like Us, The Fitz, Wild West, Brass Eye, and Foley and McColl – This Way Up; and for film, his work includes Act Without Words. He voiced Reynard the Fox in The Harry Hill Movie.

Evening performances start at 7.30pm. There are matinee performances on Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm.

For tickets visit or call 0844 871 7650 (booking fees apply).