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T S Eliot

T S ELIOT  (1888 - 1965)

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

Literary Agent:    The Society of Authors  


Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (September 26, 1888  January 4, 1965) was a publisher, playwright, literary and social critic and "arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century." although he was born an American, he moved to the United Kingdom in 1914 (at age 25) and was naturalised as a British subject in 1927 at age 39.
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below is a list of T S Eliot's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

Cats         Cocktail Party         Confidential Clerk, The         Elder Statesman, The         Family Reunion, The         Murder In The Cathedral         Rock, The         Sweeney Agonistes



Cats

Synopsis:
The exploits of a variety of feline friends who are gathering for the Jellicle Ball. During the ball, only one cat will be bestowed with a precious extra life, and the tension begins to mount.

Notes:
Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber; Based on "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T.S. Eliot; Lyrics by T.S. Eliot; Additional lyrics for "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" And "Memory" by Trevor Nunn; Additional lyrics for "Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats" by Richard Stilgoe

1st Produced:
New London, London    11 May 1981

Company:
-

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:
Musical

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

Further Reference:
-

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Cocktail Party

T S Eliot
It focuses on a troubled married couple who, through the intervention of a mysterious stranger, settle their problems and move on with their lives. The play starts out seeming to be a light satire of the traditional British drawing room comedy. as it progresses, however, the work becomes a darker philosophical treatment of human relations. as in many of Eliot's works, the play uses absurdist elements to expose the isolation of the human condition. In another recurring theme of Eliot's plays, the Christian martyrdom of the mistress character is seen as a sacrifice that permits the predominantly secular life of the community to continue. Synopsis: Edward and Lavinia Chamberlayne are separated after five years of marriage. She leaves Edward just as they are about to host a cocktail party at their London home, and he has to come up with an explanation for why Lavinia is not present, in order to keep up social appearances. Lavinia is brought back by a mysterious Unidentified Guest at the party, who turns out to be a psychiatrist whom Edward and Lavinia both consult. They each learn that they have been deceiving themselves and must face life's realities. They learn that their life together, though hollow and superficial, is preferable to life apart. This message is difficult for the play's third main character, Edward's mistress, to accept. She, with the psychiatrist's urging, also moves on towards a life of greater honesty and salvation and becomes a Christian martyr in africa. Two years later, Edward and Lavinia, now better adjusted, host another cocktail party.

Notes:
The Broadway production received the 1950 Tony Award for Best Play.

1st Produced:
Edinburgh Festival    22 Aug 1949

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber 1950   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - The London Stage 50.75

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Confidential Clerk, The

T S Eliot
Sir Claude Mulhammer has an illegitimate son Colby. He takes Colby into his household as his confidential clerk and hopes that once his wife, Lady Elizabeth has got to know the young man she will accept him and adopt him. However Lady Elizabeth believes that Colby is her real son

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Lyceum, Edinburgh    25 Aug 1953

Company:
-

1st Published:
Harcourt Brace 1954   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
comic verse play

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - The London Stage 53.219

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Elder Statesman, The

Synopsis:
Peer has to come to terms with his own imperfect past and learn to love his children in order to attain happiness in old age.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Lyceum, Edinburgh    25 Aug 1958

Company:
-

1st Published:
Samuel French, NY,    -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Booksellers:

Genre:
Verse play

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - The London Stage 58.253

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Family Reunion, The

T S Eliot
The play is in two acts, set in Wishwood, a stately home in the north of England. at the beginning, the family of amy, Dowager Lady Monchensey are assembling for her birthday party. Lady Monchensey's two brothers and three sisters are present, and a younger relation, Mary, but none of Lady Monchensey's three sons. among other things they discuss the sudden, and not to them wholly unwelcome, death at sea of the wife of the eldest son Harry, the present Lord Monchensey. Harry soon arrives, his first appearance at Wishwood for eight years. He is haunted by the belief that he pushed his wife off the ship. In fact Harry has an alibi for the time, but whether he killed her or not he wished her dead and his feelings of guilt are the driving force in the rest of the play. Lady Monchensey decides that Harry's state warrants the discreet observation of the family doctor, who is invited to join the party, ostensibly as a dinner guest. Mary, who has been earmarked by amy as a future wife for Harry, wishes to escape from life at Wishwood, but her aunt agatha tells her that she must wait: agatha reveals to Harry that his father attempted to kill amy while Harry was in her womb, and that agatha prevented him. Far from being grateful, amy resented and still resents agatha's depriving her of her husband. Harry, with agatha's encouragement, announces his intention to go away from Wishwood, leaving his steady younger brother John to take over. amy, despairing at Harry's renunciation of Wishwood, dies (offstage).

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Westminster Theatre, London    21 Mar 1939

Company:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Verse play

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  6            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
Wearing - The London Stage 56.116

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Murder In The Cathedral

T S Eliot
Murder in the Cathedral is a verse drama by T. S. Eliot portrays the assassination of archbishop Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. The action occurs between December 2 and December 29, 1170, chronicling the days leading up to the martyrdom of Thomas Becket. The play is divided into two "parts" separated by an "interlude". Part one takes place in the archbishop's hall on December 2, 1170. The play begins with a Chorus singing, foreshadowing the coming violence. Three priests are present, and they reflect on the absence of Becket and the rise of temporal power. a herald announces Becket's arrival. Becket is immediately reflective about his coming martyrdom. The tempters arrive. The first tempter offers the prospect of physical safety. Becket responds to all of the tempters. The Interlude is a sermon given by Becket on Christmas morning 1170. Part II of the play takes place in the archbishop's Hall and in the Cathedral, December 29, 1170. Four knights arrive with "Urgent business" from the king. They accuse him of betrayal, and he claims to be loyal. They make to attack him, but priests intervene. The priests insist that he leave and protect himself, but he refuses. The knights leave and Becket again says he is ready to die. The chorus sings that they knew this conflict was coming, that it had long been in the fabric of their lives, both temporal and spiritual. The chorus again reflects on the coming devastation. Thomas is taken to the Cathedral, where the knights break in and kill him. The chorus laments. at the close of the play, the knights step up, address the audience, and defend their actions.

Notes:
The production then moved to the Mercury Theatre, Notting Hill Gate in London. . .written At the time of rising Fascism in Central Europe, And can be taken As A protest to individuals in Affected countries to oppose the Nazi regime's subversion of the ideals of the Christian Church.

1st Produced:
Chapter House of Canterbury Cathedral    10 Jun 1935

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber   -

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:
Verse play

Parts:
Male:  9            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
Wearing - The London Stage 53.46

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Rock, The

Synopsis:
In 1934 a play appeared at the Sadlers Wells Theatre, London with a crucial scene parodying the antisemitic ideology of Fascist Blackshirts. The play is The Rock, with book of words by T.S.Eliot. It was a huge pageant performance, organized by the churches of London, and this paper will suggest that this scene was put in on Eliots initiative, as a political statement. In the scene Redshirts and Blackshirts march and counter-march, as their philosophies and practice are held up to ridicule. The verse of this scene is the liveliest in the play, and it has been placed in one of the strongest positions for a scene in the theatre, bang at the end of the first act, just before people go out to collect their thoughts (and other peoples) over a gin and tonic in the interval.

Notes:
words by T. S. Eliot

1st Produced:
Sadler's Wells Theatre in London    28 May 1934

Company:
-

1st Published:
Faber and Faber 1934   -

Music:
-

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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:
a Pageant Play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Sweeney Agonistes

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
Sweeney Agonistes by T.S. Eliot is his first Attempt At producing A verse drama which he was unable to complete. In 1926 And 1927 he separately published two fragments of his Attempt And then collected them in 1932 in A small book under the title Sweeney Agonistes: Fragments of An Aristophanic Melodrama but the two fragments Are frequently performed As A one-act play.

1st Produced:
Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York    06 May 1923

Company:
-

1st Published:
Sweeney agonistes is currently available in print in Eliot's Collected Poems: 1909-1962 listed under his "Unfinished Poems" with the "Fragments of an aristophanic Melodrama" part of the play's original title removed. The two short scenes that make up the play are titled "Fragment of a Prologue" and "Fragment of an anon."   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Fragments of an aristophanic Melodrama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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