Dirty Linen and New-Found-Land
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Dirty Linen and New-Found-Land is a pair of two 1976 Tom Stoppard plays that are always performed together. New-Found-Land interrupts the two parts of Dirty Linen. It was first performed as an Ambiance Lunch-Hour Theatre Club presentation at Interaction's Almost Free Theatre on April 6, 1976. Then, opening in June 1976, it played four years at the Arts.
A Select Committee of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom meets to discuss a ridiculous scandal on which the tabloid press has begun focusing. The papers allege that some mystery woman has accused 119 members of the House of sexual harassment. The six members of the Committee look into it so as to maintain the House's good name. Ironically, each member of the committee reminds the secretary, Miss Gotobed, not to bring up their most recent rendez-vous. They do not want the press to get the wrong idea. It turns out that the secretary, who is not very adept at dictation, is the woman from the newspapers. The curtain falls and then rises again for New-Found-Land in which an older and a younger man, two other Members of Parliament, briefly discuss the naturalization of an American into British citizenship (based on the real-life naturalization of the play's director, ED Berman MBE). They laud the American nation as a whole, including every American patriotic cliché they can remember. Eventually, the Select Committee returns and tries to reclaim its room.
- Behind Stoppard's Plays at http://www.donshewey.com/theater_reviews/dirty_linen.html
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