Diana of Dobson's
BY CICELY HARRIS
14 February 2007 — 17 March 2007
Diana of Dobson’s opens in a dormitory of Dobson’s Drapery Emporium where the girls ‘live-in’ with little hope of escape from the drudgery of their work and the hopelessness of their living conditions. But for Diana Massingberd possible salvation comes with news of a small legacy. She takes this opportunity to enter a world of luxury, respectability and possibilities, but can she stay there? And, despite the attentions of a charming but spoilt Captain, will she want to?
This ‘romantic comedy’, which takes us from Dobson’s dormitory to the Thames Embankment via the Swiss Alps, reveals a world where marriage is seen as both an escape and as a trap.This unjustly neglected play has received recent praised productions in New York and in Canada. It is time it was seen again in London where it belongs.
Cicely Hamilton was an actress, novelist and playwright as well as an important feminist campaigner at the beginning of the 20th century. She was a member of the Womens’ Freedom League, and a founder member of the Actresses’ Franchise League and the Women Writers’ Suffrage League. She wroteHow the Vote Was Won, Marriage as a Tradeand Just to Get Married and in her plays and novels she dealt with women’s economic dependence on men through marriage.