"AND lo! the board with cups and spoons is crown'd,
The berries crackle, and the mill turns round,
On shining altars of japan they raise
The silver lamp; the fiery spirits blaze:
From silver spouts the grateful liquors glide,
While China's earth receives the smoking tide:
At once they gratify both scent and tatse,
And frequent cups prolong the rich repast ...
Coffee (which makes the politician wise,
And see through all things with his half-shut eyes)
Sent up in vapours to the Baron's brain
New stratagems the radiant lock to gain.

Backstage with Bill McMillan

A 30 year-old dream is to be realised tomorrow when John Bartlett gives a one-man performance at the Exeter and Devon Arts centre.

Since Alexander Pope's 1714 poem
The Rape of the Lock was one of John's A-level study works, he has had a hankering to stage it. So, in wig and courtly costume, he will present this example of 18th century wit and impudence.  A crowded life-style .. has been suspended while he completes the solo enterprise, which he has devised and adapted.

"Tour de force"
The Rape of the Locke - Cabaret Theatre, Exeter 15th December  1993

Just like the girl with the curl of the nursery rhyme, Miss Arabella Fermor, prized her tresses. Imagine her outrage when the Baron Petrie stole up behind her and lopped off a lock of hair.

To try to settle the resulting family feud, fashionable poet Alexander Pope was engaged to pen a piece of verse in mock heroic vein. The aim was to make light of the incident and bring the couple together, sharing a laugh.

Exeter actor and stage designer John Bartlett made his debut as a solo artist on Wednesday night, treating the audience to his virtuoso adaptation of
'The Rape'.
here was a tour de force, deserving to be seen at any venue where elegant acting and skilled posturing are appreciated.

Bill McMillan                                                                                                            (Exeter Express & Echo)

REVIEW: The Rape of the Locke

John Bartlett, whose debut at the Cabaret Theatre before Christmas was such a success, has been concentrating on the design side of his career since appearing in
Sleuth at the Barnfield  Theatre in 1988. After the first laugh in his adaptation of Alexander Pope's Rape of the Lock he rattled off the mock heroic poem in fine style.

As befits a designer, John's costume was opulent; his beauty spot, wig and blusher gave him the right roguish air for a knave possessing a wily way with the scissors.

                                                                                                        Exeter Leader