A Trick to Catch the Old One
Theodorus Witgood, a pleasure-loving young spendthrift, has mortgaged his estates to his uncle Pecunius Lucre, a covetous London moneylender and ruthless swindler. In the hope of freeing himself of debt Witgood and his mistress concoct an elaborate plan in which she will masquerade as a rich widow, newly arrived from the country – and his new fiancée! Inevitably other suitors soon begin to covet the rich widow, chiefly Walkadine Hoard. Lucre’s greatest adversary, Hoard hatches a cunning plot of his own to deprive Witgood of his fiancée and the widow of her fortune.
Thomas Middleton’s A Trick To Catch The Old One is an funny, bitter, provocative and deeply ironic city comedy where each character tries to deceive the others in a continuous game of bluff and counter-bluff. It was first performed c. 1605 by “Paul’s Boys”, one of the two popular boys’ companies of the day. This is the third time Edward’s Boys have taken on Middleton, following acclaimed productions of A Mad World, My Masters in 2010 and A Chaste Maid in Cheapside in 2011.