For Services Rendered
The Norwich Players
For Services Rendered by W. Somerset Maugham
1932. Late summer in Kent. The Ardsley’s prepare for tea, tennis and tedium. All is as it should be. As if the war never happened. As if England is itself again.
“If you come to think of it we none of us have anything very much to worry about [...] the world is turning the corner and we can all look forward to better times in the future.”
Yet this family has many wounds. One, Sydney’s blindness, is a stark reminder of the suffering their country wants to forget. Others are hidden and endured in secret have turned into scars. Over a weekend that begins with lemonade on the lawn and ends in tragedy, the Ardsley’s will discover just how many the twentieth century has left them with.
Informed by his own wartime service with both the Red Cross and British Intelligence, For Services Rendered caused outrage at its premiere and remains W. Somerset Maugham’s most impassioned and resonating play. A piercing examination of a country torn between embracing the future and resurrecting its past, it now rightly regarded as a classic of inter-war theatre.
‘...a blistering portrait of the ruinous aftermath of the first world war and our creation of a society unfit for heroes.’ – The Guardian
Running time approximately two and a half hours, including interval.
This amateur production is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL