London's Jermyn Street to Offer Rarely-Seen 1930s Plays, Including Terence Rattigan's Debut Work

By Mark Shenton
08 Jul 2014

London's Jermyn Street Theatre is to offer a season of three plays, all originally premiered in 1933 and 1934, including Terence Rattigan's debut play, as well as plays by John Van Druten and Mordaunt Shairp.



The season begins with John van Druten's Flowers of the Forest, beginning performances Sept. 23 for a run through Oct. 18. It will be directed by Jermyn Street's artistic director Anthony Biggs. The play is set in London in 1934 and in Sussex from 1914-1916, telling the story of the Jacklyn family torn apart by the Great War.  Tackling the issues of how the conflict had a long-lasting and devastating effect on a whole generation, the play is a both a eulogy to those who fell and a testament to those who lived on without them. Van Druten is best known for Bell, Book and Candle and I Am a Camera, his adaptation of Christopher Isherwood's "I Am a Camera."  

The season continues with a revival of Terence Rattigan's debut play First Episode, co-authored with Philip Heimann, beginning performances Oct. 28 for a run through Nov. 22. Presented by Primavera and directed by Tom Littler, the play was inspired by events from Rattigan's own time in 1930s Oxford. It tells the story of a movie star's appearance in a student play. The story charts the relationship of best friends Tony and David as their friendship is tested when Tony becomes besotted with the beautiful star Margot Gresham. It is one of the earliest plays to deal explicitly with homosexuality.

Finally, Mordaunt Shairp’s The Green Bay Tree will begin performances Nov. 25 for a run through Dec. 20. According to press materials, it is a study of gay desire and control. Telling the story of a beautiful young man as he is forced to choose between the love of his fiancée and the lifestyle of his male mentor, the work is a comedy of manipulation and self-repression. It will be produced by Evergreen Theatrical Productions.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 7287 2875, or visit www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk.