Conference

The late Robert Graves at home in Deya.

16-04-2004FAMILIA GRAVES

The fourteenth International Robert Graves Conference is being held in Palma and Deya next week and coinciding with the opening night in Palma, 10 July, the curtain will be going up on the world premiere But it still goes on at the Finborough Theatre, London, as part of the The Great War 100 series.

Coincidentally, the conference here in Palma this tear is entitled Robert Graves and Europe: Good-bye to All That/But It Still Goes on and William Graves said yesterday: “This play was commissioned for Robert to write when he had just arrived in Deya in 1929 after the publication in November that year of Goodbye to all that.

“It was too risqué for the time and was turned down. Robert published it in a collection of writings and essays under that title in 1931.

“We tried a couple times to get it produced but never succeeded.

“Now, with some minor alterations by the director, it is finally seeing the light of day. Hurray!” In a production commissioned by the Finborough Theatre, Robert Graves’ “post-catastrophic comedy”, But It Still Goes On, is directed by Fidelis Morgan, and opens at the Finborough Theatre for a four-week limited season on Tuesday, 10 July. Finborough Theatre’s The Great War 100 series commemorates the centenary of the First World War.

The play is set in London in 1932 and tells the story of Cecil Tompion, a popular writer, who has bullied his children for most of their lives.

Now, his son, an ex-army officer who survived the trenches of the Western Front, and his daughter, a doctor, are trying to break free.

Their lives are touched by another ex-soldier, David, and close friend Charlotte, who both desperately struggle to repress their homosexuality.

The generation that survived a war, have to confront who they really are when they discover that family is just another battlefield. This unique rediscovery, never previously performed, But It Still Goes On by poet and novelist Robert Graves was written in 1929 as a commission from the producers of Journey’s End.

Influenced by the drawing room comedies of Noel Coward and W. Somerset Maugham, it explores themes of adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, gender politics, casual sex, and inter-generational conflict, but with a surreal dark twist.

It now finally receives its long overdue world premiere at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre.