The Promise

BY BEN BROWN
17 February 2010 — 20 March 2010

It's the beginning of World War I and Herbert Samuel, the first practising Jew ever to sit in a British Cabinet, dreams of using British power to back a return of the Jews to Palestine after 1800 years.

However, his cousin, Edwin Montagu, also in the Cabinet, and also Jewish, is implacably opposed to the idea, a conflict complicated by Montagu's passion for the young beautiful aristocrat, Venetia Stanley, a confidante of the Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith. As Venetia's developing relationship with Montagu threatens the status quo, personal and political concerns become increasingly tangled.

Politics, religion and love collide with world-changing effect in this new play of political and sexual intrigue, and the origins of Israel.

Brown's Larkin With Women won the TMA Best New Play award in 2000, and was presented at the Orange Tree Theatre in 2006 directed by Alan Strachan with Oliver Ford Davies as Larkin. The Promise is Brown's latest play and this is its world premiere.