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Play Introduction
The Servant of Two Masters

Carlo Goldoni

Was staged in July 2003

in the amphitheatre of
Dorset House,
Bury Manor,

About the Play
About the Director
The Characters

Play Introduction


The life of the Italian dramatist Carlo Goldoni almost exactly spanned the eighteenth century, a time when the traditional comedia dell'arte style was in decline and 'written' drama as we know it was beginning.
Goldoni skilfully adapted the comedia dell'arte pattern to his own very funny plots, and the most famous of the resulting plays is 'The Servant of Two Masters'.

This was a fun play to perform and the amphitheatre at Dorset House provided a marvellous space in which to do it. The spacious grounds and the old buildings of the manor house added period atmosphere to a delightful evening's entertainment.

Initial casting was made in November 2002 however we were still adding cast right up until April 2003. The new venue of Dorset House School was perfect for oepn-air performances, with good acoustics. The 'Barn' adjacent proved a very cosy venue for when the rains came on Saturday evening!

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The Servant of Two Masters

BY Carlo Goldoni

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About the play

The introduction in the front of the script says-"There is no one way of performing The Servant of Two Masters. The play provides a theatrical vehicle adaptable to the skills and abilities of varied companies of actors. It has a knockabout style, uninhibited in its high spirits, but necessitating a carefully controlled production from both actors and stage staff".
The modern pantomime still shares with the old Commedia dell'Arte the possibility of endless variations within an established story, and intervals of comic 'business' feature strongly in this play.

The story concerns the complications wrought by Truffaldino when he gets himself engaged as a servant to two different people at the same time.
Not all of the complications are of his own making however.
One of his 'masters' is in fact a lady in disguise and the other is her lover, but Truffaldino does not know this.



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About the Director - Roger Howorth

Brought up in East Africa and England, I returned to UK for the final time when Uganda got self-government in 1962. In 1964 I joined Rottingdean Drama Society and over the following 20 or so years was involved in all aspects of amateur dramatics from prompt to direction, taking in set construction, lighting, sound and acting on the way. I am currently a member of The Southwick Players where, again, I have been involved in acting, directing and set construction as well as serving on the Committee for a couple of years.

My first introduction to the Dream Theatre Co. came from taking the role of Oberon in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' in 1998.

I read for, and was given the part of, Father Lawrence in 'Romeo and Juliet', also staged by Dream Theatre Co. in 2000.

When I was first asked if I would consider directing for the 2003 production I had extreme doubts as I thought it would have to be Shakespeare again and I am the first to admit that I don't understand half of it.
It therefore came as a nice surprise to be told that, subject to approval, the choice of play was mine.
The result is 'The Servant of Two Masters'.



The Servant of Two Masters : Characters

Doctor Lombardi...........…… a lawyer
Brighella....…….....…… an innkeeper
Silvio…….......……... son of Lombardi
Pantalone….......….… a rich merchant
Clarice………..Daughter of Pantalone
Smeraldino…..………. Clarice's maid
Truffaldino............…………. A servant
Beatrice Rasponi.............…… of Turin
Florindo Aretusi…….. Beatrice's lover
Old Waiter
Young Waiter
Fat Waiter
First Porter
Second Porter
Servants (2)
Various walk on extras

Musicians (some of whom will be on stage to accompany the comic action as happens)

Due to the amount of comic 'business' in the play, scripts have to be put down as early as possible.
Timing is of paramount importance to the extent of virtually choreographing all moves.

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