Runtime: 2h 15m
The Finborough has a very canny eye for unearthing lost plays, and here’s one that hasn’t seen the light of day for many years. Set in Edinburgh, Merton Hodge’s play premiered in the West End in 1933 with Celia Johnson and ran for over 1000 performances. Semi-autobiographical, it tells the story of medical student Charles Tritton, whose life is all laid out before him. But in Mrs. McFie’s boarding house, his eyes are suddenly opened to different possibilities. There is often a reason why overlooked plays remain languishing, but the Finborough’s Neil McPherson and his team have a strong record of finding and reviving gems and letting them shine again.
Edinburgh, 1933. Charles Tritton, an eighteen-year-old medical student about to begin his studies, arrives at Mrs McFie’s boarding house. Before him lie five years’ of swotting for exams and sweating over dissections, alongside his fellow residents – eternal student Gilbert Raymond who would rather be drinking and chasing girls than passing his exams; the studious sportsman and frightful bore, John Williams; and the sage older postgraduate student, Frenchman Dr Paul Duhamel. Charles begins his course counting down the days until he can return to the life he’s left behind in London, and Jill, the girl whom he has promised to marry. Until sculptor Anne Hargreaves walks into his study… And Charles is suddenly torn between the life that has been mapped out for him and the unexpected possibility of another path… Inspired by the playwright’s own experiences of training at Edinburgh Medical School, and arguably by his own love life as a bisexual man in the 1930s, The Wind and the Rain is a gentle but universal coming-of-age of student life – and growing up. One of the biggest international hits of the 1930s, The Wind and the Rain starred Celia Johnson when it opened in the West End in 1933, running for over a thousand performances in London at three different theatres – the St. Martin’s, the Queen’s and the Savoy Theatres. It played for six months on Broadway, toured internationally, was translated into nine languages, was televised multiple times, and remained a staple of British repertory theatre for decades.