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The Private Ear

The Private Ear
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Peter Shaffer
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 49
Pub. Date: 1962
ISBN-10: 0573022151
ISBN-13: 9780573022159
Cast Size: 1 woman, 2 men

About the Play:

The Private Ear is a one-act comedy by Peter Shaffer. A shy young man invites a girl to dinner at his apartment with his best friend, whom the girl winds up falling for. Conceived as a companion piece to The Public Eye, with which it constitutes a full evening of theatre, they give the audience a fascinating window into the turbulent changing attitudes to love in the 1960s through a combination of comedy, pathos and drama. The Private Ear can also be presented independently with equal effectiveness.

The Private Ear is a tender account of a rueful romance. Bob, plain and shy, thinks he has found a different kind of girl he met at a concert and invites her to dinner. In the interim he has romanticized her as another Venus. Reclusive Bob, normally used to giving his full attention to his record collection, calls in a favour from Ted, his slick, man about town friend, to coach him. When the girl arrives, she is a very common sort and Bob is awkward to the point of clumsiness, and destroys the mood. Ted bustles about, further reducing Bob's store of confidence. Her quiet poise is revealed as foolishness and she finds classical music as tedious as Bob's conversation.

The double bill of The Private Ear and The Public Eye premiered in 1962 at The Globe Theatre in London's West End, with Maggie Smith playing the female in both, and transferred successfully to Broadway at the Morosco Theatre in 1963. Since then the plays has been successfully staged at several professional theatres and have been mounted by colleges and community theatres.

Cast: 1 woman, 2 men

What people say:

"Delightful ... are deftly contrived, cheerfully entertaining." — New York Herald Tribune

About the Playwright:

Sir Peter Levin Shaffer, CBE (1926-2016) was an English playwright and screenwriter. He is familiar to North American audiences as the author of Amadeus and Equus, two of the most successful plays of the postwar era, and of a string of other award-winning plays, several of which have been turned into films.

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