East of Suez

A play in five scenes by W. Somerset Maugham. Opened at His Majesty's Theatre, London, September 2, 1922. After 209 performances the play closed on March 3, 1923. Staged by William Abingdon; produced by Basil Dean.

Cast of characters

Harold Knox Henry Kendall
Wu Ivor Barnard
Henry Anderson Malcolm Keen
Amah Marie Ault
George Conway Basil Rathbone
Daisy Meggie Albanesi/
Nora Robinson
Lee Tai Cheng C.V. France
Sylvia Knox Ursula Millard
Extras Matthew Forsyth, Hugh Dempster, Laurence Ireland, Osborn Adair, Sholto Douglas, Nora Robinson, Mercia Swinburne, Marion Lind, Miss Yorke Stephens, Rita Page, Hilda Moss, Kitty Marshall, Dorothy Wordsworth, Maureen Dillon, Kitty McCoy, May Warde, Kathleen MacVeagh
Scene 1 A small verandah on an upper story of the British-American tobacco company's premises, Peking, China
Scene 2 The Temple of Fidelity and Virtuous Inclination
Scene 3 The Sitting Room in the Andersons' Part of the Temple
Scene 4 The Courtyard in the Andersons' Part of the Temple
Scene 5 The Sitting Room in the Andersons' Part of the Temple

"George Conway, attached to the British legation in Peking, discovers that his best friend, Henry Anderson, has became engaged to marry Daisy, a beautiful Eurasian whose English father had had her educated in England. Conway had known Daisy years before, and been deeply in love with her, but had not married her, both because she was a half-caste and because he knew that she had had other lovers. Realizing it is too late to save his friend, Conway makes the best of the situation. After the wedding he tries to see as little as possible of Daisy, but is gradually fascinated by her anew. When he can no longer bear the humiliation of his treachery to his friend, he kills himself."
[from The Best Plays of 1922-23, ed. by Burns Mantle (Dodd, Mead and Co., 1923), page 459.]


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All original content is Marcia Jessen, 2007