The Headmaster has been at Albion House for fifty years, man and boy. Now he is retiring and takes part in the end-of-year entertainment for the last time. Entitled Speak For England, Arthur, it weaves together a multi-generational story of England: the glorious era at the turn of the century, when the...
summers were always golden; the fast-living inter-war years peopled by the Bloomsbury Group; and the growing cynicism of a country going to war twice in so many decades.
Tongue-in-cheek, the play-within-a-play prompts an outraged response from the Headmaster, who can only see his beloved standards being mocked. Yet within the parody lies an almost-painful nostalgia for a more peaceful age and the timeless misunderstanding of one generation by another.
Clever, funny and poignant, Alan Bennett's masterful play is rightly regarded as a modern classic.