(Tim Auld’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 9/2.)
The tiny Finborough Theatre, above a pub in Earls Court, has made it its calling card to discover plays by great 20th-centurydramatists that have been forgotten.
Home Chat, an 1927 script by Noël Coward, has not been performed for nearly 90 years. It was not greeted well when it was first produced in the West End, and no one has championed it since.
But they ought to have done. Written a year before women were granted the vote in Britain, it turns out to be a searingly powerful, anti-establishment expression of female individuality that, while not by any means fully achieved, has echoes of the great proto-feminist plays ofIbsen and Shaw, such as A Doll’s House, Hedda Gabler and Widowers’ Houses.