Talk:Murder on the Nile/Hidden Horizon
|WikiProject Theatre||(Rated C-class, Low-importance)|
|WikiProject Women writers||(Rated C-class)|
Modification and comment
Corrected the surname Severac, after checking with my copy of the play. It is right in the list of characters.
I think the Ministry of Labour objecting to the presence of a maid in the cast is a story that needs thorough investigation. I have read it elsewhere, and the implication was definitely that the postwar Labour Government was trying to impose egalitarianism - even in fiction! In the article, the dates do not permit this interpretation - the story is told of a time when the War had not yet ended, and Labour was not in power. If anything, the objection would have to be that a young woman should have been doing war work, not domestic service. But (a) Louise was not an Englishwoman (b) the whole plot clearly suggests a pre-War setting and (c) Louise did not exist. Such pettifogging by a Government department (did they write to Dorothy Sayers objecting to Bunter?) has a mythical sound to me. Anybody know more?
Since writing the above, I have found a published source for this. Janet Morgan in her 1984 Christie biography (Chapter 18) gives the story about the Ministry of Labour's objection, as in Wikipedia, adding that Christie's agent promised to take the matter up with the Director-General of Manpower. This response appears to confirm my own interpretation above, regarding the objection being one of personnel deployment. Morgan goes on to add that - with the end of the War in sight - Agatha Christie suggested setting the action definitely in peacetime. The "elsewhere" I mentioned above is the programme of the current (Feb 2012) British tour of the play, where the objection is made to seem one of combating snobbery. I suspect this is a misreading of Morgan's book, associating two different governmental uses of the word "Labour"! Wikipedia's wording is correct, though perhaps could be a little clearer by amplification.
BTW, I think Helen ffoliot-foulkes and Christina Grant have elements of the Otterbournes as well. In fact, is that what the article meant to write? It says both that Mrs Allerton was absorbed into Helen f-f, and that Mrs Allerton was omitted altogether.
And I don't know that Smith is that much of a "kid" - and not just because I played him when I was thirty-nine.