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The Retreat from Moscow by William Nicholson

A painfully honest look at a marriage in crisis, this 2004 Tony nominee for Best Play focuses on Edward, a schoolteacher in his 50s, his wife Alice, also in her 50s, and their son, Jamie, 30.  

Edward is one sort of stereotypical husband: taciturn to a fault and unable to comfortably express either what he feels or what he wants. The far more vocal Alice believes she has had to deal with Edward long enough; when she confronts him (not for the first time), secrets are revealed and people are hurt–including their son–in ways she could not have imagined.

Retreat is about love, hatred, betrayal, sacrifice and the role that each can play in a decades-long marriage once the near-inevitable ennui sets in. William Nicholson captures all the details of this profoundly troubled relationship, including all the little psychic stab wounds a husband and wife can inflict on one other. In the process, he gives actors a virtual smorgasbord of scenes and monologues to choose from.

Cast: 2M, 1W

Scenes/Monologues: Monologues from both Edward and Alice. Great confrontation scenes between Edward and Alice… as well as scenes between each parent and Jamie.

Recommended by: Stu

Product Description

How well do we know the people we marry? Is it wrong to decide it’s time to be honest? Is love enough to save a family? In The Retreat from Moscow, William Nicholson, the celebrated author of Shadowlands, tells the powerful story of a husband who decides to be truthful in his marriage, and of the wife and son whose lives will never be the same again.

Edward and Alice have been married for thirty-three years. He is a teacher at a boys school, perfectly at home with his daily crossword and lately engrossed in reading about Napoleon’s costly invasion of Moscow. She is an observant Catholic, exacting and opinionated, and has been collecting poems about lost love for a new anthology. Jamie, their diffident thirty-two year old son, is visiting for the weekend when Edward announces he has met another woman. With the coiled intensity of Tom Stoppard’s The Real Thing and the embracing empathy of Edward Albee’s best family dramas, The Retreat from Moscow shines a breathtakingly natural light on the fallout of a shattered marriage.

Product Details

Publisher : Anchor Books/Doubleday
Published : 03/23/2004
Format : Paperback , pages 128
ISBN-10 : 140007763X
ISBN-13 : 9781400077632

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