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And a Nightingale Sang

And a Nightingale Sang
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: C.P. Taylor
Publisher: Dramatic Publishing (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 99
Pub. Date: 1986
ISBN-10: 0871297833
ISBN-13: 9780871297839
Cast Size: 3 female, 4 male

About the Play:

And a Nightingale Sang is a full-length comedic drama by C.P. Taylor. This endearing play about a middle-class family in England during the Blitz of WWII is, at turns, hilarious, romantic, moving, and inspiring; a celebration of life in the midst of destruction, with fortitude, music, and humor as the protagonists' main weapons against despair. And a Nightingale Sang doesn't miss a beat as the action moves to a comic high-boil with the lovable members of the Stott family. Especially recommended for school and contest use.

And a Nightingale Sang is set on the British home-front and tells one family's story of perseverance during uncertain times. There are seven excellent roles for your cast in this touching and often funny play about the growth of a family living in the north of England just before the beginning of World War II. One of the daughters, Helen, a stoical and self-deprecating girl with a limp who doubts that any man will ever find her of interest, is the centre of the play, and her wry point of view propels the play and brings the rambunctious household up to a high comic boil. Mum and Dad, their younger daughter Joyce and Granddad make up the rest of her family. Her grandfather Andie is recruiting mourners to attend the burial of his dog; her devout Catholic mother is fretting about the health of the local priest; her father is serenading an unwilling audience with the popular songs that light up the whole play. Joyce, Helen's younger, prettier sister is dithering over whether to accept a marriage proposal from Eric, who is being deployed to France. Helen, depended on for guidance by the whole family, has never had any attention from men – until she finds herself unexpectedly courted by a soldier on leave, Norman, who shows her that she can waltz and fall in love. But for all the family, nothing can be the same after the war. Filled with humour, And a Nightingale Sang explores the family's personal relationships, preoccupations, troubles and joys, and is a rich, warm picture of home life in wartime.

And a Nightingale Sang began life as an oral-history project commissioned by the Live Theatre Company in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and first performed there in 1977. It was then presented at the Queen's Theatre in the West End of London in 1979. Since then it has been performed worldwide and is regularly revived in regional, middle school, high school, college, and community theatre productions.


Cast: 3 female, 4 male

What people say:

"It's a pleasure to welcome a comedy to the West End t hat doesn't consist of a number of middleclass citizens standing around trying to sort out their sexual and social problems over cocktails in Hampstead. C.P. Taylor's And a Nightingale Sang is refreshingly different in its portrait of a workingclass family living in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in World War II. The play is an unmitigated pleasure." — Daily Express

"Every once in a while the theatre produces an evening so unexpected, so instantly recognisable as the stuff of humanity, that it rocks you back in your seat ... It is not that the characters are so remarkable, but by showing us their comic, obsessive preoccupation with their own individual spot in God's Little Acre, C.P. Taylor manages to warm our hearts and perhaps lets us in on the real secret of the human race's survival." — Daily Mail

"The word 'bittersweet' was invented for plays like C.P. Taylor's And a Nightingale Sang ... The author finds understated farce in the midst of would-be grief." — The New York Times

"There are enough twists of plot and wringing of hands to fill a mini-series... in C.P. Taylor's bittersweet and often amusing story." — Hartford Courant

About the Playwright:

Cecil Philip Taylor (1929-1981), usually credited as C. P. Taylor, was a Glasgow-born playwright who wrote just under eighty plays for a wide range of audiences: community theatre, the West End of London, and regional theatre as well as several for radio and television. Though he had been a working playwright for twenty years, he is best known for final play Good, which has been described as the definitive piece written about the Holocaust in the English-speaking theatre.