George Farquhars 1706 Restoration comedy The Recruiting Officer was Josie Rourke’s first play as the new artistic director at the Donmar Warehouse in 2012. She assembled an impressive cast for this pacy and complicated piece in which big themes (love and war) are presented amid a riot of bed-hopping, social blockades, meddling servants and enticing legacies. Described as an unashamed celebration of love, lustiness and victory in battle and in the bedroom, it was a critical success, ensuring Josie’s tenure at the Donmar got off to a bright start.
On the 12th of April 2012, I managed to get all the cast on my sketch (Nicholas Burns, Nancy Carroll, Mackenzie Crook, Kathryn Drysdale, Mark Gatiss, Gawn Grainger, Tobias Menzies and Rachael Stirling) to sign it – not an easy feat given that there were eight of them leaving through various exits and often at the same time.
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