Love in Idleness

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Love in Idleness is a comedy by British dramatist Terence Rattigan (1911-1977)[1].

Also known as O Mistress Mine.

The original text

It opened on 20 December 1944 at the Lyric theatre in the West End and was performed in New York at the Empire Theatre on 23 January 1946, starring the famous stage couple Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne.

Loosely based on the story of Hamlet, the plot looks at an idealistic, Labour-leaning eighteen year old boy who returns from evacuation to discover his mother is living with a reactionary Tory.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1950: Performed as O Mistress Mine by the Repertory Theatre Society, later known as the Cape Town Repertory Theatre Society in July.

1955: Performed as Love in Idleness in the Library Theatre in 1955, with Margaret Inglis, John Hussey and Brian Bell, directed by Inglis.


Terrence Rattigan Plays: Timeline and synopsis, The Daily Telegraph: 4 January, 2011[2].

NELM: [Collection: FLETCHER, Jill]: 2005. 75. 19. 61. (1950 production).

Helikon, 6(23), 1956.

Percy Tucker. 1997. Just the Ticket. My 50 Years in Show Business. Johannesburg: Witwatersrand University Press: p. 85.

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