“But darling what will people think if the sister’s wearing mourning and the widow’s dressed in pink?”
The war is over and the Skinner family are trying to return to normal. If only the blasted Government weren’t such a nuisance about the rations and Cook could get some more of those delicious delicacies. 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.
Writer Rodney Ackland is best known for his play Absolute Hell, performed at the National Theatre in 1996 starring Judi Dench. Before the Party is based on a short story by Somerset Maugham. Ackland’s hilarious adaptation is a sizzling portrayal of the upper middle classes adjusting to post-war life; directed in a revival by Matthew Dunster, whose directorial credits include the highly-acclaimed Mogadishu (Lyric Hammersmith) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre).
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