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Donmar Warehouse
Earlham Street WC2H 9LD
The Chalk Garden
Donmar Warehouse 3D location mapMap ©Silvermaze Ltd 2008
Donmar Warehouse photoPhoto ©Tony Reading 2008
Show Details
Preview 5th Jun 08
Opens 11th Jun 08
Closes 2nd Aug 08
Show Times
Monday - Saturday 7.30 pm
Matinée Thurs & Sat 2.30 pm

Local Info
Top Class restaurants nearby;

Laureate (Chinese)
64 Shaftesbury Avenue
020 7437 5088
Mint Leaf (Indian)
Suffolk Place
020 7930 9020
Tiger Tiger (European)
29 Haymarket
020 7930 1885
Ask Tiger Tiger about ticket & meal deals for this show
Tickets sold out.
10 'Day Seats' are available from 10.30am in person at the Box Office on the day of the performance and up to 20 standing spaces.
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of Transport for London.
Enid Bagnold’s play was first staged in London at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in April 1956 , directed by Sir John Gielgud with Dame Edith Evans as Mrs. St Maugham, and Peggy Ashcroft as Miss Madrigal.

British eccentricity mostly (but not always) found in the upper middle classes is the hub of this play. It is -a 'dark comedy' which has been played by the most eminent acting and direction.
 Michael Grandage has revived this Fifties play written in an era when a play was a high art that stimulated thinking and carried messages to an audience who discussed these things. (TV had not yet taken over). Theatrical tradition was constantly being challenged by plays and 'the Chalk Garden' was no exception. Kenneth Tynan rated the play so highly as to liken it to a Mozart quintet.

It is rich with Brit wit and sayings celebrate the much valued non conformist individual - the slightly contemptuous style of which has influenced British comedy for many decades and is still the bedrock of 'typical' British dark comedy. This play's suspense derives from a creative plot

"what makes The Chalk Garden so extraordinary is the match of its high camp wit, the inventions of its serious-minded plot and an an
archic philosophy of life that celebrates individuality and eccentricity at the expense of conformity".  - Nicholas de Jongh

The story
Set in a country manor with a difficult garden, the grand lady of the house, Mrs. St Maugham is rearing her granddaughter and the flowers but mostly bring on flowers - leaving Laurel to face adolescence in a fantasy world. Her behaviour stimulates the need for a governess who joins the staff of two butlers and a nurse to prove her skill with controlling Laurel and helping also with the flowers.  When Laurel's mother arrives to claim her back the story darkens as Mrs. St Maugham resists Laurel's departure.

• Miss Madrigal  - Penelope Wilton • Mrs. St Maugham - Margaret Tyzack , Steph Bramwell, Linda Broughton, Suzanne Burden, •  Maitland - Jamie Glover •  Laurel - Felicity Jones, Clifford Rose

 • Director - Michael Grandage • Designer - Peter McKintosh • Lighting Designer - Paule Constable • Composer & Sound Designer - Adam Cork

© 2008 Updated 26th June 2008