Runtime: 2h 00m
Brixton, 1926. Mabel Hemworth rules her home and husband with a rod of iron. She expects others to follow her ‘nice’ example of domestic life. But this rule-bound world is turned upside down by the arrival of Frances, a new lodger who holds modern views about what life can offer. And Mabel’s own sister, the mercenary Gwen, a typist obsessed with the cinema, has her own plans to escape. The consequences will be life-changing for everyone… Both a humorous study of suburban manners and a serious look at the limits placed on young women in the roaring twenties, Distinguished Villa was the debut play of the distinguished Irish writer, Kate O’Brien, now rediscovered for a contemporary audience. When it premiered in the West End in 1926, the play was a hit despite being censored for its outspoken views.