Osborne’s idea is to use the music hall as a metaphor for England in the late 1950s. Music hall is dying and Archie Rice, is its unheroic embodiment. But with the Suez crisis and Osborne, with uncanny foresight, sees all those crumbling theatrical empires as a symbol of Britain’s faded imperial dream. Archie’s front-cloth scenes give the play its louche vitality, which increasingly bleed into intense domestic scenes.
This Screen Plays production is presented by arrangement with Samuel French, Ltd.