Presented by Next Stage Theatre Company
“I believe that the best plays are about people, and not about things” Terence Rattigan
In Praise of Love, Rattigan’s almost unbearably moving story of veiled emotions running deep, demonstrates perfectly the truth of his remark.
Lydia and Sebastian Cruttwell, a married couple living in North London in the 1970’s, have an affectionate, if somewhat abrasive relationship. Their son Joey, an aspiring young playwright, is on the opposite side of the political spectrum to his over-bearing father. Add to this family trio Lydia’s closest friend, the American writer Mark Walters, and the stage is set for a real-life chess game as the loves and loathings of the four protagonists play out in a series of tactical power-struggles and outwitting manoeuvres. But the King and Queen of the game are locked in a deeper and more important battle than anyone realises. Lydia has a tragic secret and Sebastian is being far from honest with her. Whilst on the surface the play takes the form of a comedy of misunderstanding, it quickly builds into a situation of almost unbearable suspense as layer after layer of deception and pretence is peeled away.
“As well as being an outstanding dissection of the nature of love and pain, In Praise of Love is as fine a statement about the loss of idealism and illusions in the 1970s as any play by any of the younger British dramatists of the period.....The final scene is among the most perfectly crafted and economically effective passages anywhere in British drama.” Michael Darlow.
“Few dramatists of the 20th century have written with more understanding of the human heart than Terence Rattigan.” Michael Billington