Play with a Tiger
A Play in Three Acts
Year First Published:||
British first edition|
This play was first produced at the Comedy Theatre, London, on March 22, 1962, by Oscar Lewenstein, with the following cast:
The action takes place in Anna Freeman's room on the first floor of Mary Jackson's house in Earls Court, London, S.W.5
At the opening of the play the time is about nine in the evening; at its close it is about four in the morning
Directed by Ted KotcheffCHARACTERS
ANNA FREEMAN: A woman of thirty-five, or so, who earns her living on the artistic fringes.
DAVE MILLER: An American, about thirty three, who is rootless on principle.
MARY JACKSON: About ten years older than Anna: a widow with a grown-up son.
TOM LATTIMER: Who is on the point of taking a job as business manager of a woman's magazine. About thirty five, a middle-class Englishman.
HARRY PAINE: Fifty-ish. A journalist.
JANET STEVENS: In her early twenties, the daughter of an insurance agent - American.
From the book jacket:
Mrs Lessing was writing plays in Southern Rhodesia long before she ever saw a play on the stage - and has been writing them ever since. Of the twenty of so she has done most have become dated, but she still stand by five of them. Her first serious production was Each His Own Wilderness at the Royal Court Theatre four years ago and The Truth About Billy Newton was done at the Salisbury Playhouse in 1958.
Doris Lessing considers Play With a Tiger to be her best play to date and the most complicated in form. It is about people who, having thrown over conventional morality, live emotionally from hand to mouth according to their own rules, often coming to grief in the process. The two central characters, an Australian woman and an American man, love each other but are too different temperamentally to marry. The most interesting aspect of the play is the middle section where the two characters, Dave and Anna, alone on the stage, create their pasts and futures in a game which breaks the realistic form of the play into a kind of expressionism.
Also broadcast on BBC2 on December 18, 1967
Producer: MICHAEL BAKEWELL
Director: STUART BURGE
Principal Cast: BARBARA JEFFORD, MICHAEL GOUGH, JEREMY BURNHAM, JOHN TURNER, PATRICIA LAWRENCE, SHARON CATHNESS