Harmless Pleasure

David Garrick was the most famous actor of the 18th century. He revolutionised the way plays were acted, the way theatre was regarded and, during his period as manager of London's Theatre Royal Drury Lane, was instrumental in installing Shakespeare as the national bard. Director Max Stafford Clark is midway through his own rehearsals for A Laughing Matter, April de Angelis' play for Out of Joint Theatre, about the life of Britain's first modern actor manager. He offers a fresh reassessment of Garrick's career and legacy, questioning why, from a man of great reforms, no new plays from his tenure survive today.