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Rodney Ackland

RODNEY ACKLAND

  (1908 - 1991)

Nationality:    British
email:    n/a     Website:    n/a

Literary Agent:    Eric Glass Ltd  

Born in Westcliffe-on-Sea, essex, 18 May 1908. educated at Salesian College, 1915-16; Balham Grammar School, 1916-23; Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic art, London. Married Mab Lonsdale (daughter of the playwright Frederick Lonsdale) in 1952 (died 1972). Salesman, Swan and Edgar, London, 1924; worked in the silks department, Stagg and Mantles, London, 1925, and in the advertising department, Vacuum Oil Company, London, 1925. Founder, with Roland Gillett, Kinsmen Pictures, 1946. Died 6 December, 1991.

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below is a list of Rodney Ackland's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        Absolute Hell!         After October         Ballerina         Before the Party         Birthday         Blossom Time         Crime And Punishment         Cupid And Mars         Dance With No Music         Dark River, The         Dead Secret, A         Diary Of A Scoundrel         Farewell, Farewell, Eugene         Foe, The         Improper People         Marion-ella         Multitude Of Sins, A,         Old Ladies, The         Other Palace, The         Pink Room, The; or, The Escapists         Plot Twenty-One         Remembrance Of Things Past         Sixth Floor         Smithereens         Strange Orchestra         Too Clever By Half         White Guard, The         Yes, My Darling Daughter



Absolute Hell!

Absolute Hell!
This fascinating evocation of Bohemian life in London in 1945 was presented at the Orange Tree, Richmond, in 1988 and is a revision of the play the Pink Room originally staged at the Lyric theatre, Hammersmith, in 1952. a world-weary hostess runs a drinking-club where the members gather to drink and, variously, escape, dream, seek, bitch, mock and destroy. 'this is not only an archaeologist's treasure, but is among the most convincing, moving pieces to hit London yet this year.' Independent

Notes:
revision of the Pink Room

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books, London, 1990   978-1870259194

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama. - - Gay, theme/character, full length

Parts:
Male:  11            Female:  10            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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After October

After October
After October is Ackland's most autobiographical play. It shows a feckless family in the grip of poverty, with a young playwright, Clive, scenting the possibilities of escape to affluence and extravagance. But Clive's play is a failure and his beloved Frances opts for his rival Brian. a loan helps Clive until his novel will be completed and everything will be all right 'after October'. the mood lightens - only the creditors are heavy.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Arts, London     21 Feb 1936

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Gollancz, London, 1936
Oberon Books (2016) >>>    -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Ballerina

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
by Rodney Ackland; music by Henry Sullivan, lyrics by Desmond Carter, Adaptation of the novel by eleanor Smith

1st Produced:
Gaiety, London     10 Oct 1933

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Musical adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  large cast

Further Reference:
-

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Before the Party

Before the Party
Laura has recently returned from the Gold Coast - she tells her family that he died from malaria. She then upsets her family by telling them that she is going to marry a man they all dislike - David. Laura's sister, Kathleen has learnt the truth about the death of her husband and the family confront - but Laura tells them that he did not commit suicide - she killed him. He was an abusive drunk. Laura's family then insist that after their garden party she must tell David the truth, break the engagement and leave the family home. Laura leaves a letter for David. the family then discover that David is the son of a Lord and will inherit a fortune. they change their minds about him and try to prevent him from seeing Laura's letter. But he has already read it. He says it changes nothing - he loves Laura. Disgusted with the family they elope

Notes:
From W S Maugham

1st Produced:
Cambridge, London     02 Feb 1934

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1950
Oberon Books (2013) >>>    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
adaptation comedy

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  8            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Birthday

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London     1934

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1935   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Blossom Time

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
music by Schubert

1st Produced:
Lyric, London     17 Mar 1942

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  13            Female:  11            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Crime And Punishment

Synopsis:
Originally published in 1866, Crime and Punishment tells the story of Rodion Romanivich Raskolnikov, an impoverished former student who murders an old woman to escape his wretched situation

Notes:
book by Fedor Dostoevsky

1st Produced:
Wimbledon, London     18 Jun 1946

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Sampson Low and Marston, 1948   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  16            Female:  10            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Cupid And Mars

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
with Robert G. Newton, Adaptation of A story by Newton

1st Produced:
Arts, London     01 Oct 1947

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
comedy

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  7            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dance With No Music

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London     1930

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Deane, London, 1933   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dark River, The

Dark River, The
set in the late thirties, the flamboyant characters are cocooned in a Thames backwater ignoring the turbulent events of a politically unstable europe

Notes:
(as Remembrance of Things Past, produced 1938; As the Dark River, produced 1941)

1st Produced:
Questors Theatre, London     01 May 1943

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1942
Davis Poynter 1972   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  3            Other:  1 boy

Further Reference:
-

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Dead Secret, A

Dead Secret, A
When the miserly old spinster dies the question remains - was it murder?

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1958   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Mystery

Parts:
Male:  9            Female:  6            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
Wearing - the London Stage 59.131

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Diary Of A Scoundrel

Diary Of A Scoundrel
With the death of Yegor's Father he and his mother are left in dire straits. He worms his way into a wealthy family and discredits the daughter of the family's fiance. It is his hope now to marry her himself and they are engaged. But Yegor has been keeping a diary of how he has sucked up to the wealthy family and his true feelings about them. the diary is discovered

Notes:
Original Playwright - Alexander Ostrovsky. aka Too Clever By Half

1st Produced:
Arts, London     19 Oct 1949

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Sampson Low and Marston, 1948   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
adaptation farcical comedy

Parts:
Male:  9            Female:  7            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Farewell, Farewell, Eugene

Synopsis:
How do you say "farewell" to someone who never appears in the first place? Let the action speak for itself: the time is 1915; the place a shabbily genteel basement apartment on Manhattan's Lower east Side. Its denizens are Gert and Minnie Povis, the former quite correct and slightly formidable, the later not above sneaking a clandestine bottle of beer or reliving her brief but happy days as a member of a third-rate opera company. the sisters supplement a small income by turning out handpainted greeting cards, which Cousin Peonie merchandises through her acquaintances in the "outside world." One of these is Chuck Bailey, who is in love with Poenie but out of favor with Gert. He does move a lot of greeting cards, however, which means more money for the growing fund in the "Visit to Eugene Box." Brother Eugene, we might add, has been off in Africa for a rather long time doing nobody knows what. all this, of course, has its complications, which runs something like this: Gert manages to break up Peonie's romance;

Notes:
adaptation of a play by John Vari

1st Produced:
Garrick, London     05 Jun 1959

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, London, 1960   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - the London Stage 59.131

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Foe, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Wood, e.R. (ed.), the Sixth Windmill Book Of One-act Plays, 1972   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Improper People

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London     1929

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Heinemann, London, 1930   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Marion-ella

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London     1930

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Multitude Of Sins, A,

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
with Robert G. Newton

1st Produced:
-     1951

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Old Ladies, The

Old Ladies, The
a harsh winter in the 1920s. Lucy and May have rooms in an old house and, through fond memories, simple pleasures and buried hopes, happily help each other through their impoverished days. But, in the upstairs room, the dark, brooding presence of agatha plots to shatter their friendship. Little by little, she begins a journey of terror as she manipulates, ridicules and undermines the careful fabric of Lucy's and May's lives. Is Lucy's son really alive? Why does May depend so much on her prized possessions? and what is the terrible secret that agatha craves to discover?

Notes:
novel by Hugh Walpole (produced 1935; As Night in the House, produced NY 1935).

1st Produced:
New Theatre, London     03 Apr 1935

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French Ltd, London 1935   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Booksellers:

Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - the London Stage 50.230

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Other Palace, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Questors Theatre, London     1964

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays 2" Oberon, London, 1999   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  8 characters

Further Reference:
-

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Pink Room, The; or, The Escapists

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
earlier version of Absolute Hell

1st Produced:
Theatre Royal, Brighton     09 Jun 1952

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Booksellers:

Genre:
play 2 act

Parts:
Male:  10            Female:  13            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - the London Stage 52.119

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Plot Twenty-One

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Embassy, London     19 Oct 1936

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Booksellers:

Genre:
play

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Remembrance Of Things Past

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
(as Remembrance of Things Past, produced 1938; As the Dark River, produced 1941)

1st Produced:
Globe, London     30 Oct 1938

Organisations:
London International Theatre

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
play

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Sixth Floor

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
adaptation of A play by Alfred Gheri

1st Produced:
London     1939

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Smithereens

Smithereens
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Plays 2" Oberon, London, 1999   978-1840020885

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  12 characters

Further Reference:
-

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Strange Orchestra

Synopsis:
takes place in a large Chelsea flat, run as a boarding house by a slatternly Bohemian with a heart of gold. Her paying guests are young, poor and uncertain of their jobs. they squabble hystErically, make love and dance to the tune of a wind up gramophone. then into this lively household strolls Peter, a homeless artist destined to destry happiness with his ready charm and caddish behaviour

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London     1931

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1932   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Too Clever By Half

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
see Diary Of A Scoundrel

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Applause   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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White Guard, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
Original Playwright - Mikhail Bulgakov

1st Produced:
Ambassadors', London     11 Mar 1934

Organisations:
Roddcliffe Players

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Booksellers:

Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  14            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Yes, My Darling Daughter

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
adaptation of comedy by Mark Reed

1st Produced:
St James's, London     03 Jun 1937

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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