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Biography

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, which caused James Agate in the Sunday Times to suggest that the ordinary stuff of the West End Theatre 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 the one indisputably great play of the past half-century in English.’

Absolute Hell
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Absolute Hell

Rodney Ackland
 
Condemned as a 'libel on the British people' when it was first produced in 1951, Absolute Hell is set in a decaying West End drinking club at the end of the Second World War.


Cast : 10M, 10F
Oberon Books | 978-1-87025-919-4 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Ackland: Plays 1
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Ackland: Plays 1

The Dark River / After October

Rodney Ackland
 
Rodney Ackland is belatedly acknowledged as a master of the British stage, now captivating new audiences.  

The Dark River
Set in the late thirties, the flamboyant characters are cocooned in a Thames backwater ignoring the turbulent events of a politically unstable Europe. 

After October
A young playwright dreams of escaping into an extravagant world.
Cast : The Dark River - M6, F3 / After October - M5, F6
Oberon Books | 978-1-87025-954-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Ackland: Plays 2
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Ackland: Plays 2

Smithereens / Strange Orchestra / Before the Party / The Old Ladies

Rodney Ackland
 
No other major British playwright of the last 50 years has undergone such a radical reappraisal as Rodney Ackland. In Plays Two, we are reminded once again of Ackland’s unique and dangerous gift. 

Smithereens 
A woman embarks on a rebellious love affair in defiance of her family.
  
Strange Orchestra 
Deals with love and betrayal among rootless twenty-somethings. 

Before the Party
A murder lurks beneath the surface of a socially respectable household. 

The Old Ladies 
Depicts three women's need to cling to cherished items for mental and physical survival. 

With an Introduction by Michael Hastings.

Cast : Smithereens - M5, F7 / Strange Orchestra - M5, F6 / Before the Party - M2, F5 / The Old Ladies - F3
Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-088-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
After October
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After October

Rodney Ackland
 

Hampstead, 1936. In a shabby basement flat, aspiring playwright Clive Monkhams dreams of a West End hit and winning Francie’s heart.

With opening night approaching and finances fast running out, everything rides on the success of the play and, for Clive, the future looks all too glittering…

Oberon Books Ltd, UK | 978-1-78682-054-9 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Before The Party
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$21.95 inc GST

Before The Party

Rodney Ackland
 

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. 


 

Cast : 2M, 5F
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-442-3 | Sales: Australia/NZ only | PB