Chains of Dew at the Orange Tree Theatre 2008

Ruth Everett as Nora, Charles Daish as Leon in Orange Tree production directed by Kate Saxon, March-April 2008. Other performers included Helen Ryan as Mother, David Annan as Seymore, Katie McGuinness as Dotty, and Gwynfor Jones as James O'Brien. Photo courtesy of Robert Day.

The Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond U.K., revived Glaspell’s Chains of Dew, directed by Kate Saxon, on 12 March – 5 April 2008, to very favorable reviews:

Michael Billington at the Guardian wrote, “As part of its female playwrights’ season, the Orange Tree has unearthed this astonishing play by Susan Glaspell: a contemporary of Eugene O’Neill. Writing in 1922, she tackles not only birth control, but the timeless battle between progressive east-coast liberalism and entrenched midwest conservatism.”

Sam Marlowe at the London Times wrote, “That Glaspell ends the play not with neat resolution, but with a sour twist, shows a bracing realism: she was clearly under no illusions about how far the struggle for equality still had to go.”

“Given the easy chuckles and enthusiastic applause that greeted Susan Glaspell’s provocative comedy on press night, it seems astonishing that this is the first and only revival of the play since its premiere at the Provincetown Playhouse on Cape Cod in 1922.” John Thaxter, British Theatre Guide.

” . . . Few male writers of the period or since could have Glaspell’s awareness of the games men’s minds and vanities play, and of the ways women are forced into the role of supporting their self-delusions. And a major strength of the play is that Glaspell’s righteous anger only complements, and doesn’t get in the way of the predominantly light comic tone.” Gerald Berkowitz, TheatreguideLondon.

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