This Happy Breed

“It’s up to us ordinary people to keep things steady. That’s your job, my son, and just you remember it”

1919: after four years in the trenches, Frank Gibbons returns to civilian life, starts a new job in a travel agency and moves his wife, Ethel, their three children, Reg, Vi and Queenie, and his mother-in-law, Mrs. Flint, into a new home near Clapham Common.

On the day of the move, Frank is delighted to discover that his nearest neighbour is Bob Mitchell, a fellow Tommy whom he had given up for dead in 1915. With the Mitchells - Bob, his invalid wife Nora, and son Billy - living cheek by jowl with the Gibbonses, the two families adapt to life in suburbia . . . and to peacetime.

Over the next 20 years, as their parents slip slowly into middle-age, the children grow up to become the generation that will have to face another world war. And throughout those two momentous decades, from the coming of the Jazz Age and the General Strike through to appeasement and Munich, parents and offspring alike face up to all the usual trials and tribulations of family life: political disagreements, doomed romances, surprise weddings - and tragic bereavements…

Written in the spring of 1939, but rarely seen on stage since the 1943 film version was released, Coward’s saga of the lives and loves of a South London family during a turbulent period of history is warm-hearted, funny, deeply moving and infused with a love of Britain and its people.

After their much-praised first visit last year with Somerset Maugham’s Home and Beauty, we are delighted to welcome Pitlochry Festival Theatre back to Guildford’s Yvonne Arnaud Theatre. Famed for their exceptionally high production standards, this company is sure to provide an exceptional, theatrical treat.


**** “[a] gripping, good-hearted play” THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

**** “The play is an exquisitely rendered slice of suburban life that Coward subtly spins into a web of neighbourly and family relations” DAILY MAIL


Presented by Pitlochry Festival Theatre

By Noël Coward

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Main Auditorium


From £21.00 - £32.50

Ticket prices include £1 Restoration Levy and £1 Booking Fee

Running times

Act 1 55mins

First interval 15mins

Act 2 50mins

Second interval 10mins

Act 3 35mins

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