All Over

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All Over is a play written by Edward Albee.

Production history[edit]

The play premiered on Broadway at the Martin Beck Theatre on March 28, 1971 and closed on May 1, 1971 after 40 performances. The director was John Gielgud, and the cast featured Jessica Tandy (The Wife), Madeline Sherwood (The Daughter) and Colleen Dewhurst (The Mistress).[1] [2]

The play was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Aldwych Theatre in London in January 1972. Directed by Peter Hall, the production starred Peggy Ashcroft (The Wife), Angela Lansbury (The Mistress),[3]Sheila Hancock (The Daughter), Patience Collier (The Nurse),[4] David Waller (the Son), and Sebastian Shaw (Best Friend).[5]

The play was presented at the McCarter Theatre, Princeton, New Jersey, in February 2002. Directed by Emily Mann, the cast featured Rosemary Harris (the Wife), Pamela Nyberg (the Daughter), Michael Learned (the Mistress), William Biff McGuire (the Doctor), John Christopher Jones (the Son), John Carter (the Best Friend), and Myra Carter (the Nurse).[6]


A wife and mistress are waiting for the death of the man they both love. Their great love is a man who is wealthly and famous. The wife and mistress form an alliance in a ritual of the death watch.

Critical response[edit]

Clive Barnes, in his review for The New York Times wrote "It is a lovely, poignant and deeply felt play. In no way at all is it an easy play -- this formal minuet of death, this symphony ironically celebrating death's dominion. It is not easy in its structure, a series of almost operatic arias demanding, in their precision, pin-point concentration from the audience, and it is certainly not easy in its subject matter."[7]

Walter Kerr wrote that "The exercise at the Martin Beck is extraordinarily remote, detached, noncommittal. Its people seem to be waiting in a railroad station for the last train out, unaware that it has long since departed and the station itself is simply gathering dust and echoes while it waits to be torn down."[8]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Colleen Dewhurst (nominee)
Colleen Dewhurst (winner)


  1. ^ Albee, Edward.Script All Over:a play in two acts (, Samuel French, Inc., 1998, ISBN 0-573-60521-1, pp. 2-3
  2. ^ "'All Over' 1971", accessed November 22, 2015
  3. ^ Cadden, Michael."All Over", Summer 2002
  4. ^ Gussow, Mel. "Death and Life" Edward Albee: A Singular Journey : A Biography, ( Hal Leonard Corporation, 2000, ISBN 1-55783-447-4, pp. 283-286
  5. ^ "'All Over' 1972", accessed November 22, 2015
  6. ^ Brantley, Ben. "Theater Review. Albee Hides Death Behind Curtains, but Soon It's 'All Over'" New York Times, February 25, 2002
  7. ^ Barnes, Clive. "Stage: 'All Over,' Albee's Drama of Death, Arrives" The New York Times, March 29, 1971
  8. ^ Kerr, Walter. "Albee's 'All Over' -- The Living Are Dead, Too" New York Times, April 4, 1971

External links[edit]