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The Slaves of Solitude

The Slaves of Solitude

By Patrick Hamilton
Adapted by Nicholas Wright
Imprint: Nick Hern Books
Paperback : 9781848426993, 96 pages, October 2017


1943, Henley-on-Thames. Miss Roach is forced by the war to flee London for the Rosamund Tea Rooms boarding house, a place as grey and lonely as its residents. From the safety of these new quarters, her war effort now consists of a thousand petty humiliations, of which the most burdensome is sharing her daily life with the unbearable Mr Thwaites.

But a breath of fresh air arrives in the form of a handsome American lieutenant and things start to look distinctly brighter. Until a new boarder moves into the room next to Miss Roach’s – outwardly friendly, she soon starts upsetting the precarious balance in the house.

Nicholas Wright’s play The Slaves of Solitudeweaves a fascinating blend of dark hilarity and melancholy from Patrick Hamilton’s much-loved story about an improbable heroine in wartime Britain. The play premiered at Hampstead Theatre, London, in October 2017.


"[A] witty, evocative, gnarly human drama… the home front is a hotbed here as people who look like heroes or villains reveal themselves to be more complex while they make their small but crucial claims for territory… wonderful. " —The Times

"Nicholas Wright’s adaptation captures the familiar emotional notes of Hamilton’s fiction, the pervading loneliness, the melancholy, the use of booze as a crutch and a shield. " —The Stage

"Brilliantly transformed for the stage by Nicholas Wright… although there is some wonderful sly comedy from the start, [the play's] strength is in a humane, rueful, oddly hopeful understanding of loneliness and of the way we try to make real connections… no character is all bad, nor all good; even the most minor of them, in fleetingly sketched moments, reveal both their handicap and their hope. It’s lovely. " —TheatreCat