Noel Coward's This Happy Breed set for Oldbury Rep run

Halesowen News: This Happy Breed: Ashley Robinson as Reg Gibbons, Sue Wyld-Bennett as his mother Ethel, Roger Saunders as father Frank and Anita Peakman as Mrs Flint. This Happy Breed: Ashley Robinson as Reg Gibbons, Sue Wyld-Bennett as his mother Ethel, Roger Saunders as father Frank and Anita Peakman as Mrs Flint.

THE Oldbury Rep continues its 75th Season with Noel Coward’s family saga This Happy Breed.

The play, which opens on Saturday, May 10, focuses on the working class Gibbons family between the end of WW1 and the outbreak of WW11.

Oldbury Rep publicity officer Alan Wood said: "They are an ordinary family, like millions of others, and we follow their lives, the joys they celebrate and the losses they mourn, marriage, separation and sorrow.

"As the play progresses we see the changing social and economic fabric of the country."

He added: "When Frank Gibbons returns from WW1 it was the war to end all wars but with another conflict on the horizon we are left to wonder what the effect will now be on his family and the nation."

Coward completed the play in 1939 and the final dress rehearsal in London was on August 31 but the next day Germany invaded Poland sparking war.

The London production was abandoned but the play was finally staged in Blackpool in September 1942 with Coward playing the part of Frank Gibbons.

In 1944 David Lean directed the film which starred Robert Newton, Celia Johnson and John Mills.

This Happy Breed was first produced at Oldbury Rep in 1953.

The production runs from Saturday 10th until Saturday 17th May, excluding Sundays and performances start at 7.30 pm.

Tickets are priced at £9 with the usual concessions at £8 an £7 on Monday and Tuesday evenings with no further concessions.

For more information phone 0121 552 2761 or visit online at www.oldburyrep.org.

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