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Separate Tables

Separate Tables
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Terence Rattigan
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 127
Pub. Date: 1984
ISBN-10: 0573615276
ISBN-13: 9780573615276
Cast Size: 8 female, 3 male

About the Play:

Separate Tables is the collective name of two interlinked one-act dramas by Terence Rattigan. A double bill that was one of his biggest Broadway successes, Table By the Window and Table Number Seven, are both set at an English seaside hotel. In Table By the Window, a frigid woman attempts to win back her husband who has just come out of prison for attempting to murder her. Table Number Seven follows a spinsterish young woman who resolutely defends a shy man, despite her domineering mother's objections and even after he turns out to have molested women in darkened movie theatres.

Separate Tables addresses the need to accept individual faults and others' mistakes with a forgiving heart. Organized as two separate one-act dramas with few character changes, Table By the Window and Table Number Seven are set eighteen months apart in the lounge and dining room of a shabby genteel hotel on England's south coast. Except for the two leads in each (which may be doubled) the same characters appear in both. In Table by the Window, a down-at-the-heels journalist is confronted by his ex-wife, a former model who provoked him to the violent act that sent him to prison, destroying his future. Still in love, they nevertheless go through another terrible scene and it is the hotel manager, Miss Cooper, who helps repair their broken lives. In Table Number Seven, a 'self-made' army colonel without any true background and education to which he lays claim, finds solace with a spinster over the objections of her ruthless, domineering mother. When a sordid scandal threatens to drive them apart, Miss Cooper again comes to the rescue. Separate Tables is a beautifully crafted double-bill that is undoubtedly Terence Rattigan's finest work and demonstrates his art of characterization.

Separate Tables premiered in 1954 at the St James's Theatre in London to huge critical and commercial success; it was performed 726 times in the West End and over 300 at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway. Terence Rattigan adapted his own hit play for the 1958 screen version, which was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. The play has been performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 8 female, 3 male

What people say:

"A beautifully constructed double bill." — The Telegraph

"A triumph." — New York Post

"To his skill as a craftsman, Mr. Rattigan has added understanding and forgiveness. The finest thing he's written." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

Sir Terence Rattigan (1911-1977) was a popular English dramatist who wrote some of the most memorable and important plays of the twentieth century. His plays are generally situated within an upper-middle-class background. He was that relative rarity among the ranks of playwrights: a major theatre author who was almost equally successful as a screenwriter, and one of a very few playwrights of his era privileged to adapt his own stage work to the screen on a regular basis.

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