Peace in Our Time (play)

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Peace in Our Time is a two-act play written in 1946 by Noël Coward. It has 8 scenes and a cast of 22 speaking roles. The play focuses on a small group of Londoners in a pub close to Sloane Square, in an alternate history where Germany won the Battle of Britain and successfully invaded and occupied Britain.

The drama received its first performance at the Lyric Theatre in London in 1947. The production was directed by Alan Webb under Coward's supervision and starred Helen Horsey, Kenneth More, Bernard Lee, Elspeth March and Maureen Pryor. Later during the year, 1947, the play moved to the Aldwych Theatre, London, W.C.2, under the continued direction of Alan Webb. The Players included Bernard Lee (Fred Shattock), Kenneth More (George Bourne), Dora Bryan (Phyllis Mere), and Dandy Nicols (Lily Blake).


Coward was inspired to write the play by seeing the effects of the occupation of France in Paris, writing "The idea of Peace in Our Time was conceived in Paris shortly after the Liberation..... I began to suspect that the physical effect of four years intermittent bombing is far less damaging to the intrinsic character of a nation than the spiritual effect of four years enemy occupation."[1]

The play takes its title from the common misquotation of Neville Chamberlain's phrase "Peace for our time" after arriving back from the Munich conference of 1938. Because of its large cast, it is rarely performed.[citation needed]

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