TYPE OF SCRIPT: Full length
CHARACTERS (M): 2
CHARACTERS (F): 3
RUNNING TIME: 140 mins (approx)
INTERVAL: Two intervals
FIRST PERFORMED: n/a
SCRIPT SAMPLE [download available soon]
SET: 1 interior set
A Matter of Breeding, set circa 1880, defines the struggles of the time for many ladies, forced to follow duty rather than their hearts. Jane Asquith has styled herself as a typical gothic heroine, from her favourite romantic novels, and has been indulged by her parents with freedom and a classical education. By the standards of the time, she has developed into a thoroughly modern young lady, until her father dies unexpectedly, forcing her into an unwanted marriage, in order to save her home and her family’s reputation. The entire play is set in the drawing room of Denbridge Hall.
A MATTER OF BREEDING is a full length “drawing-room drama” by award-winning playwright Alexander Vail. This charming, well-observed period piece takes as its main inspiration Jane Eyre, and will be loved by all who still find joy in the tragic romanticism of the novel.
“Well to be honest, Bertram, no, the journey was frightful. The coachman is new, and the ride was interminable. Be sure he waters the horses properly. And send for my granddaughter at once. I shall wait in here. Would you have Mrs Guthrie send up some camomile tea as soon as is convenient?”
ISOBEL ASQUITH: Aged late 30s. Recently widowed, yet optimistic. Emotional and sensitive, unconcerned by status and yearns for the quiet life. Feels utterly stranded, by the loss of her beloved husband.
LADY BRIGHAM: Aged late 50s. Complete antithesis of her daughter. Cold and calculating, she is a woman with a mysterious past, who will not allow anything to challenge her hard-fought place in society.
JANE ASQUITH: Aged 18. A daughter of the Victorian age, she is well educated and loves reading. She has strong romantic opinions and is highly strung.
BERTRAM: Aged 40 – 60. Butler to the Asquith family for many years. He is wise and well respected.
BARON WILHELM HIRSCH VON URSTADT: Aged late 40s. Lonely Bavarian aristocratic widower, of poor health, who falls madly in love – much to his surprise – with Jane.
Act One Scene 1 – The funeral wake of Sir Henry Asquith.
Act One Scene 2 – Two weeks later
Act One Scene 3 – Six weeks later
Act Two Scene 1 – Three weeks later, Jane’s wedding day
Act Two Scene 2 – Three weeks later
Act Two Scene 3 – Two weeks later
Act Two Scene 4 – Later that day
Act Three Scene 1 – A few days later
To request a perusal script for A MATTER OF BREEDING by Alexander Vail, please email me.