By Miles Malleson
Directed by Jenn Thompson
May 25th through July 21st
- Tuesday – Saturday 7:30pm
- Saturday & Sunday 2:00pm
- Wednesday: 6/20 & 7/18 2:00pm
Running time: 2:15 with one intermission.
The Beckett Theatre at Theatre Row
410 West 42nd St.
Conflict is a love story set against the backdrop of a hotly contested election. Miles Malleson combines his two great passions: sex and politics. The result is a provocative romance that sizzles with both wit and ideas.
It’s the Roaring 20’s, London. Lady Dare Bellingdon has everything she could want, yet she craves something more. Dare’s man, Sir Major Ronald Clive, is standing for Parliament with the backing of Dare’s father. Clive is a Conservative, of course, but he’s liberal enough to be sleeping with Dare, who’s daring enough to take a lover, but too restless to marry him. Clive’s opponent, Tom Smith is passionate about social justice and understands the joy of having something to believe in. Dare is “the woman between” two candidates who both want to make a better world—until politics become personal, and mudslinging threatens to soil them all.
“I won’t say that it is necessary to be quite so good an actor as Miles Malleson to be a good playwright; but it is obviously a help. Mr. Malleson’s stage experience has enabled him not only to turn his economics to good conversational account, but to hinge excitingly dramatic situations upon them. His argument may not bring converts tumbling into the Socialist fold, but it should at least pave the way to sound and sensible discussion. He avoids political bigotry with the same dramatic skill; and though the play’s sympathies are left rather than right, he gives the old regime a sporting run. Politics are not the only string to his interestingly didactic bow. The other is Love. His frank handling of the relations between the sexes is again so cunning that it is the dramatic, rather than the debatable, aspect that engages one’s interest.” The Observer, 1925
The play premiered in London in 1925, where critics heaped it with praise: “A skillfully and strongly written piece”, the dialogue “is neat and spare, always natural and often witty;” while complimenting “the expert way in which it is put together.”
Conflict was adapted for the movies in 1931, under the title The Woman Between (changed to The Woman Decides when an American movie with same title also was released in 1931.) “There is so much cleverness in this picture that it makes me wish all the more that British produces would avoid such unnecessarily “sexy” subjects,” lamented Picturegoer Weekly.
Sets: John McDermott
Costumes: Martha Hally
Lights: M.L. Geiger
Sound: Toby Algya
Props: Chris Fields
Dialects & Dramaturgy: Amy Stoller
Casting: Stephanie Klapper, CSA
Production Stage Manager: Kelly Burns
Assistant Stage Manager: Jeff Meyers
Illustration: Stefano Imbert
Graphics: Hey Jude Design, Inc.
Press: David Gersten & Associates
CONFLICT IN CONTEXT
Susan Pedersen, Columbia University
Saturday, June 2, after the Matinee
Professor Pedersen will discuss politics in England in the early 1920’s, helping to put Malleson’s play into a historical context. She is the Gouverneur Morris Professor of History at Columbia and specializes in British history, the British empire, comparative European history, and international history. In 2014, Pedersen founded a graduate training collaboration in Twentieth-Century British history with Guy Ortolano of NYU and Peter Mandler of Cambridge University. PhD students working in this field participate in regular dissertation workshops and book discussions across all three institutions.
Celia Marshik, Stonybrook University
Saturday June 9, after the Matinee
Celia Marshik is Chair of the Department of English at Stonybrook. She is the author of “British Modernism and Censorship” (Cambridge University Press) and editor of “The Cambridge Companion to Modernist Culture”. Her teaching focuses on British modernism, the relationship between modernism and the middlebrow, and the literature and culture of World War I.
MY FATHER: MILES MALLESON
Sunday, June 10, Brunch at Chez Josephine 12:00.
Attend the matinee that day, or any other performance (separate purchase required). Brunch Price: $40: Call 212-315-9434 for your ticket!
Andrew Malleson, born 1931, is the son of Miles Malleson and his second wife, Joan Billson. Andrew will share stories of his childhood, talk about his father and share what it was like for him to see Conflict, as well as Yours Unfaithfully in 2017.
“It’s Rather a Way of Looking at Things:”
The Political Vision of Miles Malleson
Maya Cantu, Bennington College
Saturday, June 16, after the Matinee
Maya Cantu is Dramaturgical Advisor to Mint Theater Company. She received a D.F.A. in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism at Yale School of Drama. Her book American Cinderellas on the Broadway Stage: Imagining the Working Girl from “Irene” to “Gypsy” is now available through Palgrave Macmillan. Maya will discuss the life, work and politics of Miles Malleson.