Home and Beauty

by W. Somerset Maugham

directed by Alec Walters

Performed in the

Maskers' Studio Theatre


20th to 23rd October 1999

Dear Audience

Tonight’s performance arrives at the end of a long path containing misfortune on both the artistic and technical fronts.  Despite these, there has been a determination that ‘the show must go on’.  We would ask you, therefore, to forgive any imperfections in the presentation.  We are, however, determined to make your evening enjoyable and to see for ourselves, just as Bertha did, that it’s all part of life’s rich pageant.

For expertise, endeavour and help in the fields of production, design and construction, lighting, sound, costume, properties, catering, box-office and house management, our grateful thanks go to; Gill and Graham Buchanan, Sheana Carrington, Helen Davis, Laurie Gee, Laura Jones, David Jupp, Ella Lockett, Jez Minns, Paul Scales, Douglas Shiell, Ken Spencer, Wauter Surerkropp, students of Southampton City College and others.

Also, we thank Goodwood Furniture.

The action takes place in Victoria's house in Westminster.  It is late November 1918, the war is over and the tedium of normality is returning.

Cast (in order of appearance)
Miss Dennis (A Manicurist) Laura Fleming
Victoria (A Dear Little Thing) Alice Haine
Taylor (A Nurse/Parlourmaid) Sarah Lynn
Mrs Shutteworth (A Mother-In-Law) Molly Manns
Mr Leicester Paton (A Wrangler) Derek Leslie
Frederick Lowdnes (A Hero) Steve Bruce
William Cardew (Another) Richard Richardson
Mrs Pogson (A Respectable Woman) Christine Baker
Mr A.  B.  Raham (A Solicitor) Albie Minns
Miss Montmorency (A Maiden Lady) Marion Westbury
Clarence (A Boy) Richard Walters


W Somerset Maugham 1874 -1965.

William Somerset Maugham was born in Paris where he lived until he was 10. He was educated at King’s School, Canterbury and Heidelberg University. While studying medicine at St Thomas’s, London he discovered his talent for writing. He quickly achieved great success as a writer of novels, short stories and plays. During World War I he served as a secret agent in Russia and based his Ashenden spy stories on his experiences.

He married Syde Welicome (the daughter of Thomas Barnardo) in 1916, a year after she had given birth to his child. However, Maugham continued to live with his lover, Gerald Haxton, for the next 30 years. From 1927 until his death he lived in the south of France.

Virginia Woolf, diary entry (11th Nov 1918)

Twenty-five minutes ago the guns went off, announcing peace. A siren hooted on the river. They are hooting still. A few people ran back to look out of the windows. A very cloudy still day, the smoke toppling over heavily towards the east; and that too wearing for a moment a look of something floating, waving, drooping. So far neither bells nor flags, but the wailing of sirens and intermittent guns.

Virginia Woolf, diary entry (15th Nov 1918)

Peace is rapidly dissolving into the light of common day. You can go to London without meeting more than two drunk soldiers; only an occasional crowd blocks the street. But mentally the change is marked too. Instead of feeling that the whole people, willing or not, were concentrated on a single point, one feels now that the whole bunch has burst asunder and flown off with the utmost vigour in different directions. We are once more a nation of individuals.



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Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

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