A Collier's Friday Night
by D.H. Lawrence
The English Stage Society
Royal Court Theatre, 8 August 1965, in a Production without Décor.
Written in 1906-7 the play prefigures the novel Sons and Lovers, with its picture of a family warring within itself; the mother at loggerheads with the father, and jealous of her son's sweetheart — a picture, in fact, of Lawrence's owns family. Edward Garnett records that Lawrence pencilled on the manuscript "was written when I was twenty-one, almost before I'd done anything." Garnett goes on, "The warp and woof of the drama out of which the situations are spun are the bitterness between the parents and Ernest's relations with the woman round him. At twenty-one Lawrence had not yet evolved his philosophical doctrines about sex, nor had he developed the "Inner conflict" between his selves. But his uncanny clairvoyance about women and the sex duel generally is declared in every scene in A Collier's Friday Night
Lawrence on the Theatre
A People's Theatre. Since we can't produce it, let us deduce it, Major premiss: the seats are cheap. Minor premiss: the plays are good. Conclusion: A People's Theatre. How much will you give me for my syllogism? Not a slap in the eye, I hope. 1919.
I believe that, just as an audience was found in Russia for Chekhov, so an audience right be found in England for some of my stuff, if there were a rain to whip them in. I am sure we are sick of the rather bony, bloodless drama we get nowadays — it is time for a reaction against Shaw and Galsworthy and Barker and Irishy (except Synge) people — the rule and measure and mathematical folk.
It will seem a bit rough to me, when I am 45 and must see myself and my tradition supplanted: I shall bear it very badly.
But I don't want to write like Galsworthy nor Ibsen nor Strindberg, nor any of them, not even if I could. We have to hate our immediate predecessors to get rid of their authority. 1913.
The essence of tragedy, which is creative crisis, is that a man should go through with his fate, and not dodge it and go bumping into an accident. And the whole business of life, at the great critical periods of mankind, is that men should accept and be one with their tragedy. Therefore re should open our hearts. For one thing, we should have a People's Theatre. Perhaps it would help us in this hour of confusion better than anything. 1919
A Collier's Friday Night
The play takes place in the Lamberts' house.
There will be Two Acts with an interval of 15 minutes
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site. Copyright © 1999-2008
Last modified: Wednesday April 23, 2008. Page accesses: 4917