Famous actress Rose Trelawney is willing to give up anything for her sweetheart, Arthur – even her successful theatre career. Out of the spotlight, however, Rose discovers that the real world is not to her taste. Desperate to escape the tedium of her life, she abandons her husband and returns to the stage, only to discover that her stint in reality has left her unable to perform in popular melodramas.
Arthur Wing Pinero’s comedy premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in 1898; it shows the transition from the melodrama popular in the mid-nineteenth century to the more realistic drawing room comedies of a later period. It was revived in London by the Donmar Warehouse in 2013.