Acclaimed Noël Coward play comes to the Torch

The Xenon cast of This Happy Breed by Noël Coward.

The Xenon cast of This Happy Breed by Noël Coward.

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THEATRE company Xenon return to the Torch Theatre this month with a timely production about family and the effects of war.

Noël Coward's acclaimed play This Happy Breed charts the fortunes of the Gibbons family during the turbulent years from the end of the First World War to the beginning of the Second World War.

Having survived the trenches, First World War veteran Frank Gibbons, his wife Ethel and their children along with Frank's endlessly moaning mother-in-law and his hypochondriac sister are all moving into a new home in the London suburbs.

The story follows the next 20 years in their lives and in the lives of their friends and neighbours. Written with respect for and warmth towards these down to earth people, it is none the less generously sprinkled with Coward's customary wit and insight. Their personal joys and sorrows - births, marriages, death, scandal - run parallel with the general strike, the great depression, the abdication crisis and eventually the looming possibility of a second major conflict to come.

As Ethel says: "There'll always be wars as long as men are such fools as to want to go to them".

With 2014 marking the centenary of the commencement of the First World War and also the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings of World War Two, there is a poignancy to the show.

All proceeds from programme sales for this production will be donated by Xenon to the Royal British Legion and in this special year of remembrance an ensemble cast of 12 recreates on stage a segment of our country's history.

This Happy Breed is playing on Wednesday, September 10, Thursday, September 11 and Friday, September 12 at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £10 and £9 concessions and can be purchased by contacting the Torch Theatre box office or going to its website.

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