In the new sprawling suburbs of pre-First World War London thousands of young men commute six days a week to their clerking lives with no hope of respite until retirement arrives, while their wives struggle to make ends meet. But consternation is caused when one of them announces that he is to emigrate to Australia to find a new life.
Will Charlie now leave Lydia and his job, will Maggie go ahead and marry Mr Foster, should Percy commit himself to Sybil? Just what are the chains that bind us to our country, to our families, to our homes and to our work? And how strong are the chains of security when freedom seems to beckon?
Elizabeth Baker’s 1909 play captures a world of lower middle class life with all its hopes and fears that is seldom reflected in the theatre of the time. A rare Orange Tree discovery.