A Day by the Sea
It is a fine day in May, 1953.
A work-obsessed diplomat based in Paris makes a rare visit to his mother, who lives at the beautiful family home in Dorset. He is disconcerted to find an old childhood friend also visiting with her children, her life now blighted by scandal. His mother, heartily sceptical about politicians meddling in foreign affairs, would like him to calm down and get married. A family picnic on the beach might be just the thing but even there a work colleague brings him news he had not expected to hear.
Do we always see the past through rose-tinted spectacles? If, after years dominated by his work, he can discover what really matters in life, can he get it? Can we? A Day by the Sea, hugely popular in its time, asks this very question.
N.C. Hunter the “English Chekhov” was swept aside, along with Coward and Rattigan, by the Angry Young Men in the 1950’s. Coward and Rattigan are now often performed, and Hunter’s humane and intelligent comedies are long overdue for rediscovery.