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Before the Party
     

Before the Party

by W. Somerset Maugham, Rodney Ackland
 

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Based on a short story by Somerset Maugham, Before The Party tells the story of a family attempting to return to normal in the wake of the Second World War. With daughter Laura returned from Africa, widowed but not alone, they prepare for the latest social gathering. Amidst the never-ending whirl of hats and dresses and below stairs skirmishes, Laura reveals

Overview

Based on a short story by Somerset Maugham, Before The Party tells the story of a family attempting to return to normal in the wake of the Second World War. With daughter Laura returned from Africa, widowed but not alone, they prepare for the latest social gathering. Amidst the never-ending whirl of hats and dresses and below stairs skirmishes, Laura reveals a shocking secret that threatens to ruin more than one party on the climb to social success.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sheer spiky bliss... [a] forgotten 1949 gem by Rodney Ackland." [five stars] - Independent

"Rodney Ackland’s bitingly funny 1949 adaptation of a 1926 short-story by Somerset Maugham fleshes out its wry source in a theatrically entertaining way and ferrets out its nutritious dramatic meat too." - Daily Telegraph

"[Before the Party] makes a strong case for Rodney Ackland to be next in line for the revival treatment... sparkling." - Evening Standard

"A subtle evisceration of upper-middle-class manners." - Arts Desk

"Gripping, blackly comic." - Financial Times

"A perfect example of Ackland's singular craftsmanship... Ackland holds up a mirror to the hypocrisy and casual callousness of the middle classes." - Daily Express

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781849434423
Publisher:
Theatre Communications Group
Publication date:
08/27/2013
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Rodney Ackland's first play Improper People was produced at the Arts Theatre Club, London in 1929, but it was not until 1932 that Ackland's work finally reached the West End, when his fourth play, Strange Orchestra, transferred from the Embassy, Swiss Cottage to the St. Martin's, St. Martin's Lane. The transfer caused James Agate of the Sunday Times to observe that the other work on the West End bore as much resemblance to Strange Orchestra "as unbleached calico to tattered silk." The Dark River, produced at the Whitehall Theatre and revived at the Orange Tree in 1985, was acclaimed by Hilary Spurling in the Spectator as "perhaps one of the indisputably great plays of the past half-century in English."

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