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We Happy Few

We Happy Few

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Encyclopedia
We Happy Few is a 2004 play by Imogen Stubbs
Imogen Stubbs
Imogen Stubbs, Lady Nunn is an English actress and playwright.-Early life:Imogen Stubbs was born in Northumberland, lived briefly in Portsmouth, where her father was a naval officer, and then moved with her parents to London, where they lived on an elderly river barge on the Thames...

. It follows a group of female actors touring Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon"...

 plays round the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 . It is based on the real-life touring group, the Osiris Players. Its title quotes the St Crispin's Day speech from Henry V.

Premiere


Originally written and performed in 2003 at Malvern Theatres, it was further developed into the play which opened in London in 2004. This London premiere was directed by Stubbs' husband Trevor Nunn
Trevor Nunn
Sir Trevor Robert Nunn, CBE is an English theatre, film and television director. Nunn has been the Artistic Director for the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Royal National Theatre, and, currently, the Theatre Royal, Haymarket. He has directed musicals and dramas for the stage, as well as opera...

 at the Gielgud Theatre
Gielgud Theatre
The Gielgud Theatre is a West End theatre, located on Shaftesbury Avenue in the City of Westminster, London, at the corner of Rupert Street. The house currently has 889 seats on three levels.-History:...

 and starred Juliet Stevenson
Juliet Stevenson
Juliet Anne Virginia Stevenson, CBE is an English actor of stage and screen.- Early life :Stevenson was born in Kelvedon, Essex, England, the daughter of Virginia Ruth , a teacher, and Michael Guy Stevenson, an army officer. Stevenson's father was in the army and was posted to a new place every...

 and Patsy Palmer
Patsy Palmer
Patsy Palmer is an English actress. Palmer made an early television appearance on the children's drama show Grange Hill, but is best known for playing Bianca Jackson in the popular British television soap opera EastEnders. Originally in the cast from 1993–1999, Palmer returned to EastEnders in...

. It opened on Tuesday 29 June 2004 but, though planned to run to November 2004, poor audience figures and critical or lukewarm reviews
led to it closing at the end of July 2004.

Original cast

  • Juliet Stevenson
    Juliet Stevenson
    Juliet Anne Virginia Stevenson, CBE is an English actor of stage and screen.- Early life :Stevenson was born in Kelvedon, Essex, England, the daughter of Virginia Ruth , a teacher, and Michael Guy Stevenson, an army officer. Stevenson's father was in the army and was posted to a new place every...

     - Hettie Oaks, leader of the troupe
  • Marcia Warren
    Marcia Warren
    Marcia Warren is an English stage, film and television actress. On stage, she appeared in Blithe Spirit as Madame Arcati, and The Sea at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.-Partial filmography:...

     - Flora Pelmet, co-founder of the troupe
  • Kate O'Mara
    Kate O'Mara
    Kate O'Mara is an English film, stage and television actress. She is perhaps most widely known for her role as Caress Morell, the scheming sister of Alexis Colby in the 1980s American primetime soap opera Dynasty, though is also known for playing other villains such as The Rani in Doctor Who and...

     - Helen, alcoholic children's radio presenter and frustrated actress
  • Patsy Palmer
    Patsy Palmer
    Patsy Palmer is an English actress. Palmer made an early television appearance on the children's drama show Grange Hill, but is best known for playing Bianca Jackson in the popular British television soap opera EastEnders. Originally in the cast from 1993–1999, Palmer returned to EastEnders in...

     - Charlotte, Cockney tomboy, latterly Rosalind's girlfriend
  • Caroline Blakiston
    Caroline Blakiston
    Caroline Blakiston is an English actress who has appeared predominantly in television roles, notably in the series Brass. She also appeared as Mon Mothma in the science fiction film Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi...

     - Jocelyn, stage manager
  • Paul Bentley - Reggie Pelmet, Flora's cousin
  • Rosemary McHale - Gertrude, German Jewish refugee
  • Adam Davy
    Adam Davy
    Adam Davy , is an actor and an accomplished multi-instrumentalist.-Biography:Adam Luke Davy grew up in London, England...

     - Joseph Rosenbaum, Gertrude's son
  • Cat Simmons
    Cat Simmons
    Cat Simmons is an English actress, best known for her role as DC Kezia Walker in the long running ITV drama The Bill. And for starring in Family Affairs as Scarlett Anderson. Simmons also plays a character called "Sista Twista" in a film called "Life & Lyrics"...

     - Ivy, Joseph's girlfriend
  • Emma Darwall-Smith - Rosalind, new RADA graduate, Helen's daughter

Publication


The play was published (and is licensed for amateur performance) by Nick Hern Books
Nick Hern Books
Nick Hern Books is a London-based independent specialist publisher of plays, theatre books and screenplays. The company was founded by the former Methuen drama editor Nick Hern in 1988.-History:...

, London.