HK English Speaking Union
- (一) 21-01-2013 7:15 PM - 2 小時 30 分
Separate Tables (1954) is a pair of inter-related one-act plays that rank among post-war dramatist, Terence Rattigan’s finest work, and demonstrates admirably his refined art of characterisation. The action is set in a seaside boarding house in which the residents are obliged to take meals at individual tables, symbolising the isolation of the individuals.
The play reveals the connection between personal and public lives among a group of distinct people, all of whom reside at the Hotel Beauregard in Bournemouth, England. The first play deals with the relationship problems of the estranged couple John Malcolm and Anne Shankland and in the second piece, one of the characters, Major Pollock, is the subject of a scandal after a lewd incident in a cinema. This develops a series of relationships between the other characters. The bossily respectable Mrs Railton-Bell wants Pollock expelled and the other characters, either by siding with or against her, form relationships one with another, thereby breaking down the social barriers physically constructed as well as symbolised by the separate tables.
In the original stage drama, the lewd incident, which acted as a catalyst for the blossoming of human relationships, involved another man. In the 1958 screen adaptation, the producers, aware of public sensibilities, changed the script to make the target of the sexual advance a woman, the notion of homosexuality being considered inappropriate for contemporary public taste.