This Happy Breed: A Play in Three Acts

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S. French, 1945 - English drama - 99 pages
2 Reviews
This Happy Breed covers twenty years in the life of the Frank and Ethel Bibbons and their children, from the end of World War I to the beginning of World War II. On one level the story is the chronicle of a middle class family. They haven't done well in the years between the wars, but in the face of another conflict, family unity spans the chasm between the generations. At another level, this is the story of England, torn at times by the conflicts of its own progress, but quietly firm in its historical moments of crisis.

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Review: This Happy Breed

User Review  - Carey Combe - Goodreads

Not one of my favourite plays by Coward. Not enough humour and too much moralising. Read full review

Review: This Happy Breed

User Review  - Goodreads

Not one of my favourite plays by Coward. Not enough humour and too much moralising. Read full review

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
4
Section 3
5
Copyright

3 other sections not shown

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About the author (1945)

In 1964, when Hay Fever (1925) was placed in the repertory of the newly organized National Theatre, Noel Coward professed to be grateful: "Bless you for admitting that I'm a classic." A week-long series of Coward played on BBC television in 1969; there have been major revivals in London and New York; plays long out of print have been republished in popular collections. At the start of the 1960s, though, Coward's reputation had been at an ebb, as he skirmished with the angry new drama. Coward had enjoyed no big success since Blithe Spirit of 1941. There have been attempts to assimilate the rehabilitated Coward to contemporary drama. Coward himself profited from the new freedom when, in 1965, his Song at Twilight discussed homosexuality, a subject that he had evaded throughout his career. A juvenile prodigy, Coward was by turns actor, director, composer, lyricist, autobiographer, and author of nearly 60 theater pieces. He even wrote screenplays, notably for In Which We Serve (1942) and Brief Encounter (1946). Although he specialized in light comedy, the so-called comedy of manners, he worked in many forms including patriotic spectacle, revue, musical, farce, even the problem play. Hay Fever, Blithe Spirit, and Private Lives (1930) have proved to be the most durable of his comedies, along with nine short plays presented as Tonight at 8:30. In each, characters demonstrate the combination of perpetual role playing, cool hedonism, and energizing self-absorption.

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