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“I Do Solemnly Declare”

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Farquhar, Simon (British playwright, 1972-____), “I Do Solemnly Declare,”

a 45-minute drama in English, set in a living room in a family house in Britain, Gemma’s birthday, early evening, 2001,


  •  © 1998 by Simon Farquhar, e-mail wednesdayplay@hotmail.com;  •  in Simon Farquhar’s I Do Solemnly Declare (London: Samuel French, Ltd., 2000), ISBN 0573122822, 23 pp.  •  ; script/rights available from Samuel French, Ltd., 52 Fitzroy Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 5JR, United Kingdom, telephone 020 7255 4302 http://www.samuelfrench-london.co.uk/index.html.  •  Cited by Simon Farquhar via ftp September 12, 2001; Farquhar says,

  §  Dramatis Personae James Sheridan (m), teenager; Father Nigel (m), a television playwright; Gemma Sheridan (f), teenager; Eve (f), mother.

  §  Synopsis “Gemma and James, the two teenage children of the Sheridan family, are playing games with mother Eve on the occasion of Gemma’s birthday. Father Nigel, a writer, returns home from a stressful day at the studios where his latest play is being rehearsed, to be faced with his strangely dismissive and distracted wife. Suddenly Eve reveals she knows of Nigel’s affair. Bundling the children away hastily, Nigel’s initial denial becomes futile and he opts for a defensive string of justifications as to why he has been unfaithful to his wife. The couple’s increasingly violent confrontations call into question every happy marital memory that Eve cherished and Nigel seems to resent, until a shocking revelation slips out which destroys all hope of normality returning.

  §  Comment “One simple set, no scene changes. Premiered at Aberdeen Arts Centre, 1998, to excellent reviews.   •  This powerful drama focuses on a typical suburban family on the occasion of daughter Gemma’s birthday. Father Nigel, a television playwright, arrives to be faced with a drunken wife who has just learnt of the double life he has been leading. The power structure of the family collapses. "An intense, caustic drama" (Samuel French publicity) "Intelligent dialogue, highly unsettling in its intensity, as a nuclear family detonates before our very eyes." (Review of original production)”

  §  Themes alcoholism, birthday, deceit, family, game, infidelity, normalcy, playwriting, rehearsal.

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Page mounted September 12, 2001, and updated September 13, 20, 2001, by the Webmaster.

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