DOI: 10.5040/9781408163030.00000004
Acts: 3. Scenes: 9. Roles: Male (5) , Female (8) , Neutral (0)

This Happy Breed shows a different side to Coward's writing than one we might be used to. Rather than dealing with the affairs of the upper classes, we instead see the movements of the lower middle-class Gibbons family, between the end of World War I and the outbreak of World War II.

This crucial twenty years of British history is made personal by the lives of Frank and Ethel, and their children, Queenie, Vi and Reg, along with friends Bob, Billie, Sam, Phyllis and Edie. The disintegration of European relations is a backdrop to suburban ennui, socialist rhetoric, and patriotic strike breaking, as alliances fail and revive within a small dining room near Clapham Common.

This Happy Breed was first performed in 1942, before being adapted for the screen, directed by David Lean.

From Coward Plays: 4


Bloomsbury Publishing

Noël Coward

ISBN: 9780413461209

Series: World Classics

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