‘Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.’

Gauguin’s aphorism serves as the motto for this morality tale of two women, both in their sixties, whose lives are interwoven in ways neither of them yet understands.  Madeline Palmer is a retired curator, living alone.  One day to her door comes Frances Beale, a woman she has met only once, who is now enjoying sudden success, late in life, as a popular novelist.  The progress of a single night comes fascinatingly to echo the hidden course of their lives as the two women take stock of their lives and their history – and their shared relationship with Martin.  Set on the Isle of Wight, this is one of  the lesser-known plays by one of our premier playwrights.  David Hare’s richly textured dialogue explores the often painful way in which the present is forever linked to the past as it explores themes of identity, memory, desire, love and disillusionment .

‘The Breath of Life is a moral debate and a morality play about our loss of morals. It is also a vicious and viciously funny play about survival amid lost lives and lost loves, as well as the eventual realisation that if you live in the past, at least you always know what is going to happen next.’  (Sheridan Morley, New Statesman)


Remember to check the ‘Art in the Bar’ page to find out which local artist is exhibiting in our bar gallery during this show.

Production photos

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DirectorAmy Burns
Assistant DirectorChrissie Blow
MadelineMaggie Cardew
FrancesDot Stevens