Rattigan’s powerful exploration of love and truth.  While on the surface ‘In Praise of Love’ takes the form of a comedy of misunderstanding, it quickly and subtly builds into a situation of almost unbearable pathos as layer after layer of comedy and pretence is peeled away from each character to reveal the full measure of each’s unspoken love and pain.

This small masterpiece examines the excruciating pain of communication and the underlying currents of concealment and pretence woven into the fabric of a repressed English marriage.  On its first appearance in 1973, despite being dismissed by Michael Billington as ‘a real stinker’, it was described by Harold Hobson in the Sunday Times as ‘the most piercing exposition of love under great stress that I have ever seen on the stage’.  On its revival in Northampton in 2010, however, Billington admitted that he was ‘happy, after all these years, to make amends.  And … it struck me that the play expresses the quintessential Rattigan paradox.  It explicitly attacks English emotional reticence, yet its overwhelming impact depends precisely on avoidance of confrontation.’

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