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Chamberlain: Peace In Our Time

    by David Robinson


       

“Superbly crafted … A thought provoking and at times
an emotionally challenging drama”

Brian Cooper, The Stage

Drama Play: 'Chamberlain' by David Robinson

Synopsis

Neville Chamberlain: a Prime Minister who desperately sought peace, but will forever be tarnished for ushering in war.

The clock is ticking, and 11am and his now infamous broadcast to the nation is looming. Chamberlain prepares himself in the well-known surrounds of Number 10 Downing Street’s cabinet office. What is going through his troubled mind, and how will he respond to Churchill, who is broodily and impatiently waiting in the next room? To add to his growing anxiety Chamberlain’s agitated and ill at ease wife is upstairs and demanding of his precious time. He fears for her health and state of mind. 

Meanwhile the BBC are helpfully broadcasting popular tunes and songs on the wireless in an effort to lighten the national mood. (The WW2 songs are cleverly and seamlessly interspersed throughout the play). Seeking peace was an honourable desire but his naivety and trust of Hitler would lead to his own downfall and to a bitter and damaging battle in his own mind.

He is left convinced that he was the right man but regretfully the wrong time. All he desired was peace but he finds himself positioned nervously in front of a microphone at the end of the play addressing a pensive country. With regret, he can only assure them that he was left with no other option than to take the country to war.


Duration

60 mins approx

Characters

(3m, 1m/f)

  • Neville Chamberlain: 60-70, Prime Minister
  • Jack Colville: mid 20’s, PM’s private secretary 
  • Tom Burke: mid 40’s, tenor
  • Radio Announcer: middle aged, (m/f) BBC continuity announcer

       


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