Friday, February 11, 2011

‘The Years Between’ by Daphne du Maurier

11 February 2011

Daphne du Maurier is probably best known now for two novels, ‘Jamaica Inn’ and the marvellous ‘Rebecca’, but she was a prolific novelist and short-story writer and also wrote two original stage plays. After the success of its revival of Tennessee Williams' first play 'Spring Storm' (reviewed here in October 2009) which subsequently transferred to the West End, the Royal Theatre, Northampton, has now revived Daphne du Maurier’s similarly neglected wartime play ‘The Years Between’ and we went to see it last Saturday. ‘The Years Between’ is the painful tale of a woman who believes her husband to have been killed in active service and, after several years of mourning, plans to marry again only for her husband to return from the war expecting everything to be as it was when he left. Apart from the emotional human story this creates, the play also highlights the tension between soldiers who feel they are fighting on foreign fields to preserve a way of life while those left at home feel they are fighting for change and a better world. It’s a clever and moving play and the Royal Theatre production, directed by Kate Saxon, was impressive and well-cast with Marianne Oldham excellent as the lead character.

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