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The Fourposter

The Fourposter
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Jan de Hartog
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 84
Pub. Date: 2017
ISBN-10: 0573609098
ISBN-13: 9780573609091
Cast Size: 1 woman, 1 man

About the Play:

Winner of the 1952 Tony Award for Best Play

The Fourposter is a full-length comedy by Jan de Hartog. This two-character play is about a couple's marriage over many years. The key moments in their long-lasting marriage are played out around their four-poster bed.

The Fourposter is about the ups and downs of marriage over many years. It is a moving chronicle of a husband and wife, Agnes and Michael, beginning on their wedding night and ending thirty-five years later when, empty nesters, they leave their house for a smaller place. They fret and quarrel, laugh, cry, and make love in the same room in which they began their married life. Standing throughout the evening is the old fourposter, silent witness to all.

The Fourposter premiered in 1951 on Broadway at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre, later moving to the John Golden. Starring Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, respected Broadway veterans and a real-life couple, the initial production earned a Tony Award for Best Play and ran for 632 performances. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in repertory, college, and community theatre productions because of its simple set and small cast.

Cast: 1 woman, 1 man

What people say:

"...the most civilized comedy we have had on marriage for years." — The New York Times

"This amusing account of the hills and valleys of married life is really a delightful and tightly written little play. The plot covers thirty-five years of marriage, including the embarrassment of the wedding night, the birth of the first child, the problems with the teenage children, the 'other woman,' and finally the mellow maturity of middle age." — The Harvard Crimson

About the Playwright:

Jan de Hartog (1914-2002) was a Dutch-American novelist and playwright. A former sea captain and a resistance fighter who escaped from the Nazis during World War II and later moved to the US, he wrote half a dozen plays and nearly two dozen novels based primarily on his own adventurous life. His most successful play The Fourposter, unlike many of his books, was not based on his own life. He wrote the play while hiding out from Nazis in 1942 – posing as an old lady in a senior citizens' home in Amsterdam. His plays have been performed in 23 languages and his novels and nonfiction books have been translated into 17.