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The Barretts of Wimpole Street

The Barretts of Wimpole Street
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Rudolf Besier
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 112
Pub. Date: 1953
ISBN-10: 0822200961
ISBN-13: 9780822200963
Cast Size: 5 women, 12 men

About the Play:

The Barretts of Wimpole Street is a full-length romantic comedy by Rudolf Besier. The romance of the English poets Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, despite her mysterious illness and tyrannical father, is the subject of Rudolf Besier's play.

The Barretts of Wimpole Street is one of the most famous plays of the modern theatre. The scene is Elizabeth Barrett's room. Here she lives with her father, sisters and brothers. Never too healthy, she has been kept prisoner by her domineering father, who rules his family with unbelievable severity. Her brothers and sisters are reconciled to their father's tyranny, but Elizabeth has in her a spark of rebellion. This is set off by the romantic young Robert Browning, who has known her through her poetry. He bursts upon the Barrett household and in the first scene with Elizabeth proclaims his deep love for her. When Elizabeth realizes that she is attracted to the young poet, the world becomes a different place. She sees that her father's solicitude is mere selfishness and that she need not look forward to an invalid's life, deprived of all natural love and happiness. Robert inspires her with a desire to get away. His zest for life and devotion to Elizabeth bring the young woman to the point where she is ready to marry him and run away to Italy. Her father tries to keep her with him, but nothing prevails, and the lovers leave Wimpole Street to embark on their life together.

The Barretts of Wimpole Street premiered in 1930,at the Malvern Hills Playhouse during the Malvern Festival in Worcestershire, England, and transferred to the Queen's Theatre in London. It then went to Broadway, where it opened in 1931 at the Empire Theatre. It was revived there in 1934 and 1945, produced in many countries, and remains a popular choice for school and community theatre productions..

Cast: 5 women, 12 men (All but one of the women are young, 9 of the men are young and 5 play very small parts)

About the Playwright:

Rudolf Besier (1878-1942) was a Dutch-English dramatist and translator, who is best known for his play The Barretts of Wimpole Street, based on Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning's courtship Born in Blitar, East Java (Dutch East Indies), as the son of an English mother and the Dutch soldier. He attended Elizabeth College, Guernsey, and the University of Heidelberg.