The Position of Peggy Harper

ISBN: 9781843913856

Author: Leonard Merrick    Publisher: Hesperus Press

The special thing that Merrick could do, and which no one else seems to have done, is to reproduce the atmosphere of low-class theatrical life: the smell of greasepaint and fish and chips, the sordid rivalries, the comfortless Sunday journeys, the lugging of suitcases through the back streets of unfamiliar towns and the trudging up and down the Strand on worn-out boot-soles, the agents' offices where women in dyed frocks sit waiting their turn, the forlorn collection of press cuttings, the manager who bolts in the middle of the tour with all the takings. – George Orwell

Set in British theatre-land in the very early twentieth century, The Position of Peggy Harper tells of Christopher Tatham’s quest as an actor for a secure wage and fame. Tatham lurches from bit part to bit part, always hoping for the longed-for leading-man role, relying on the kindness of relations to keep him housed and clothed. A chance encounter with the enchanting Peggy Harper seems to pre-empt a change of fortune. Will they both attain the success they crave?

Toasting engagements with ginger-beer, living hand-to-mouth, Merrick’s seedy world makes for grim reading and when Peggy turns out to be as fame-hungry, vain and vacant as she first appears, Christopher’s lot looks unlikely to improve.

In an age in which fame and celebrity are widely courted and craved, The Position of Peggy Harper still makes for an intriguing and, potentially, cautionary tale.

Bind: paperback

Pages: 240

Publication Date: 26-04-2013

Availability Date: 10-06-2013

Tags: April 2013   Classics   Fiction & Literature

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