Twenty years on from his 1969 depiction of class division and family troubles in In Celebration, David Storey wrote The March on Russia, a further domestic drama centring around the tensions that arise when an aging family gathers together and rakes over their past in a northern mining community.
The Pasmores are celebrating their sixtieth wedding anniversary, when their children Colin, Wendy and Eileen, all decide separately to surprise them with a visit and a posh lunch. Over the course of their stay, the siblings come to see the reality of their parents’ marriage: an endless cycle of bickering and contempt between two people who feel shackled to one another for the rest of their days, who resent their children for their social mobility. As Mrs Pasmore ruminates on the hypothetical benefits of divorce, Mr Pasmore slumps into a depression; the only way for their marriage to continue is to employ the lies and fantasies Mr Pasmore has been creating their whole married life.
Linking twentieth century British politics to the heart of domestic life in working class northern England, The March on Russia was first produced at the National Theatre, London, in 1989.