The Commercial Traveller (2017)
Love is a bunch a’ roses! Money’s the fing!
- The tyrannical father – It is London, 1924, and rich and powerful tycoon & former East End barrow boy, Sir Arthur Cattermole, is not happy. His son, Gerald, whom he has spent his hard earned brass on to go to Eton, is in love with the girl next door, the beautiful Isabelle and daughter of hard up doctor, Cornelius Truss. “Love is a bunch a’ roses! Money is the fing!” That’s what Sir Arfur finks!
- Poor Gerald sent off to Africa – So he sends Gerald to Africa to look after his cocoa business. The young lovers, of course, are heartbroken. The days pass like falling leaves and after a year no letters have come from Gerald. Isabelle is convinced he doesn’t love her anymore, or has found someone else, so decides she will become a nun and live in Bexhill-on-Sea. But the widowed doctor’s housekeeper, Elsie, who has virtually mothered Isabelle, has a plan. She knows a kind, good, gentle man, a commercial traveller, who will marry Isabelle and once married Sir Arthur will have no reason to keep Gerald away. Of course, Isabelle will have none of it at first, but Elsie persuades her mistress to trust her – that this complex knot of impossibilities will be unravelled. She will eventually be happy.
- Elsie disappears in the London fog! – Then shockingly Elsie disappears into the London fog and is apparently found dead. Her devoted husband, Albert, Sir Arthur’s butler, is devastated. A month passes and the commercial traveller, Cecil Cornford, does indeed turn up and marries Isabelle – and then, apparently too late to marry her himself, Gerald returns from Africa incognito. His letters had been intercepted and he does still love her. Albert sets about unpicking the knot and bit by bit it is unravelled. Sadly if you didn’t see it you won’t know how Elsie did it, but she did! Funny, romantic and moving the play demonstrates the gritty determination to overcome an apparently unassailable problem through absolute love.