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Various intrigues ensue, during which Suzanne and the Countess change places to deceive both the Count and Figaro.
Eventually, Figaro learns that Suzanne has always been faithful to him.
This play is the second in the Figaro trilogy, preceded by The Barber of Seville and followed by The Guilty Mother.
In the first play, The Barber, the story begins with a simple love triangle in which a Spanish count has fallen in love with a girl called Rosine.
The play premiered at the Norton Clapp Theatre on 24 October 2008.
In 1984 BBC Radio 3 broadcast a production of Beaumarchais' play in John Wells's translation; The author prescribed that Figaro must be played without any suggestion of caricature; the Count with great dignity yet with grace and affability; the Countess with restrained tenderness; Suzanne as intelligent and lively but without brazen gaiety; Chérubin as a charming young scamp, diffident only in the presence of the Countess.Figaro, who is the Count’s loyal factotum, helped his master win the hand of Rosine (known as Rosina in the opera), now the Countess Almaviva.Figaro is betrothed to Suzanne, the Countess’s maid.The play's denunciation of aristocratic privilege has been characterised as foreshadowing the French Revolution.The play formed the basis for an opera with a libretto by Lorenzo Da Ponte and music by Mozart, also called The Marriage of Figaro (1786).Chérubin is traditionally played as a trouser role by a woman.Beaumarchais said that in the original company, there were no boys available who were both the right age and who could understand all the subtleties of the role: most of the character's comic traits come from the view of an adult looking back on puberty with amusement.The scholar and translator John Wood writes that the play was probably completed in more or less its existing form by 1778.It was accepted for production by the management of the Comédie Française in 1781, after which three years elapsed before it was publicly staged.Initially the text was approved, with minor changes, by the official censor, but at a private reading before the French court the play so shocked King Louis XVI that he forbade its public presentation.Beaumarchais revised the text, moving the action from France to Spain, and after further scrutiny by the censor the piece was played to an audience including members of the Royal Family in September 1783.