A Busy Day
By Fanny Burney

Show of Strength
The Hen And Chicken, Bristol, 29 September - 23 October 1993
The King's Head, Islington, 29 June - 30 July 1994
Directed by Alan Coveney

A Busy Day was written in 1800 and had never been performed - this was a fantastic experience, it felt as if we were like the first people ever to perform a play like The Rivals. If A Busy Day - or any of her other comedies - had been performed while Fanny Burney was alive, by now she would be as famous as a playwright as she is as a diarist and novelist, if not more so.

The production was a remarkable success in Bristol in 1993, and in 1994 we were able to follow it up with a run at the King's Head. My character, Cleveland, returns from India to get his family's permission to marry Eliza, the wealthy daughter of a City merchant. Frank, Cleveland's tearaway younger brother, sees her and realises she could be the solution to his financial problems.

"But it is the playing, particularly among the younger cast members, that is a sheer joy. Richard Stemp and Ian Kelly contrast splendidly as the two brothers, one charmingly priggish and the other extravagantly conniving, in pursuit of Wendy Hewitt's demure rich heiress"
The Stage, November 11, 1993

"There is a sparkle throughout the entire cast, outstanding among whom are Wendy Hewitt, Richard Stemp and Ian Kelly."
— The Stage, July 28, 1994

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