Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Play review: The Confidential Clerk by T. S. Eliot

The Confidential Clerk by T. S. Eliot
First performance August 25, 1953 at the Edinburgh Festival

Mistaken identity is the nuts in this post-war period piece. There is no actual rollicking involved, but there is some very English romping going on. The very business-like Sir Claude Mulhammer thinks that Colby Simpkins is his long-estranged son, and tries to sneak him into the house as his "confidential clerk" in hopes that the very eccentric Lady Mulhammer will decide to "adopt" him. Yes, and it gets wackier and it gets more sobering as multiple parent-child identities are revealed or hinted at….

I won't spoil the ending. This is light stuff, mais un divertissement….one sympathizes with most of the characters because they're, well, needy, and they try to help each other, and there's no schlock….
It's a very genteel tragedy.

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