Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art

By Charles W. Cooper | Go to book overview
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An Unpleasant Comedy in Two Scenes

by Noel Coward



DORIS--his wife

ELSIE--his daughter

MRS. ROCKETT--his mother-in-law

SCENE I. Morning SCENE II. Evening

The action of the play passes in the sitting-room of the Gows' house in South London.

The time is the present day.


THE GOWS' SITTING-ROOM is indistinguishable from several thousand other suburban sitting-rooms. The dominant note is refinement. There are French windows at the back opening on to a narrow lane of garden. These are veiled discreetly by lace curtains set off by pieces of rather faded blue casement cloth. There is a tiled fireplace on the L.; an upright piano between it and the window; a fumed-oak sideboard on the R. and, below it, a door leading to the hall, the stairs and the front door. There is a fumed-oak dining-room set consisting of a table and six chairs; a sofa; an armchair in front of the fire; and a plentiful sprinkling over the entire room of ornaments and framed photographs.

When the CURTAIN rises it is about eighty-thirty on a spring morning. Rain is trickling down the windows and breakfast is laid on the table.

MRS. ROCKETTis seated in the armchair by the fire; on a small table

Copyright, 1935, by Noel Coward. Copyright (acting edition) 1938, by Noel Coward. All rights reserved.

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Fumed Oak, being fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Empire, including the Dominion of Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union, is subject to a royalty. All rights, including professional, amateur, motion pictures, recitation, public reading, radio broadcasting and the rights of translation into foreign languages are strictly reserved. In its present form the play is dedicated to the reading public only. On application to Samuel French, at 25 West 45th Street, New York 36, N. Y., or 7632 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 46, Calif., or, if in Canada, to Samuel French (Canada) Ltd., at 480 University Ave., Toronto, Ont., Canada, royalty will be quoted for amateur production.


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Preface to Drama: An Introduction to Dramatic Literature and Theater Art
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