Travelling salesman Henry Clegg has taken his wife, Jane, for granted for most of their marriage, as she endures his dishonesty, infidelity and neglect, as well as his demanding mother. But when Henry is accused of embezzling money from his firm and his latest affair is revealed, Jane realises she must finally escape her life of domestic abuse for herself and her children...only to find that for women without money and connections breaking free isn’t so easy.
Written in 1913 at the height of the campaign for votes for women, Jane Clegg premiered at Manchester’s famous Gaiety Theatre, before transferring to the Royal Court Theatre – where it was compared to Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Dame Sybil Thorndike created the title role and performed it all over the world, including in a BBC Radio broadcast in 1967.
Unseen in London since 1944, Jane Clegg now receives a long-overdue new production, directed by renowned director David Gilmore. The Finborough Theatre has also previously rediscovered two acclaimed plays by St John Ervine, most notably his play Mixed Marriage in 2011.
A wholesome piece of theatre that manages to be delicate
Written during the votes for women campaign, St John Ervine’s play receives its first London revival in 75 years
Intelligent and sensitive production of a somewhat creaky but still thought-provoking feminist play