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The Public Eye

The Public Eye
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Peter Shaffer
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 52
Pub. Date: 1962
ISBN-10: 0573624216
ISBN-13: 9780573624216
Cast Size: 1 female, 2 male

About the Play:

The Public Eye has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues.

The Public Eye is a one-act comedy by Peter Shaffer. A stuffy husband hires a private detective who's techniques are a little, well, unorthodox, to find out if his young, fun-loving wife is unfaithful. Conceived as a companion piece to The Private Ear, 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 Public Eye can also be presented independently with equal effectiveness.

The Public Eye is a very arch and continuously funny comedy about a hop-scotch character who at the moment is playing the part of a private eye for a wealthy accountant who suspects his wife of infidelity. Charles and Belinda are an ill-assorted couple yet they were once in love. Insanely jealous, Charles engages the services of Mayhew and Figgis Detective Agency. Enter replacement private eye, Julian, to follow her round London. Julian can only report that she is attached to someone. Will Charles’s increasing paranoia about his wife prove well founded? Or will Private Eye, Julian’s unconventional tactics unveil the actuality of a seemingly staid marriage? When the three meet it transpires that Belinda has fallen for Julian. Deciding to mend a marriage, rather than break it, Julian banishes Belinda to her wanderings but this time to be followed by Charles.

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 female, 2 male

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 familiar to North American audiences as the author of Equus and of a string of other award-winning plays, several of which have been turned into films.

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