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Hay Fever

Look Back in Anger

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: William Hart-Smith Biography to Sir John [Frederick William] Herschel Biography

a comedy by Noël Coward, performed in 1925. The main characters are Judith and David Bliss, respectively an actor and a writer, and their adult children, Simon and Sorel. Unknown to the others, each has asked a guest to the house for the weekend, but each proceeds to pay attention to someone other than the person he or she has invited. So unnerved are the visitors by the family's ceaseless histrionics that, the morning after a lively evening, they creep away unnoticed. The play is slight, but elegantly plotted and full of humorous characterization. The National Theatre's revival in 1964, with Edith Evans and Maggie Smith in leading roles, did much to re-establish Coward's reputation, which had been adversely affected by the arrival of the socially aware drama associated with Look Back in Anger.

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