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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.’

Before The Party
$19.95 ex GST
$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