J.B. Priestley’s “Dangerous Corner” will be staged in November as the Palisades High School fall play.
This 1932 play (Priestley’s first) was turned into a 1934 movie starring Virginia Bruce, the first honorary mayor of Pacific Palisades (1951-’53). The film was produced after strict enforcement of the Hays Code, resulting in a version that removed controversial elements of the play, including a homosexual relationship, drug use and adultery.
The story centers around six close friends, who are enjoying each other’s company and entertaining an eager guest, who wants nothing more than to be a part of their popular set.
Set in the drawing room of Freda and Robert Caplan’s country house, Freda, Betty Whitehouse, Maud Mockridge (a novelist) and Olwen Peel (a friend of Freda and Betty, who has a senior position at a successful publishing company established by Freda’s father) are listening to a radio play, “The Sleeping Dog.”
The women discuss the play and then move on to the suicide of Freda’s brother-in-law, Martin Caplan. They are then joined by Gordon Whitehouse, Betty’s husband, and Charles Trevor Stanton, who also works at the publishing house.
One of the women notices a musical cigarette box in the room and makes a fatal remark that triggers a series of shocking revelations about the characters and their relationships with each other and with the dead Martin Caplan.
“Dangerous Corner” was the first of Priestley’s plays in which he explores the theory that there are other forms of time, or Time, than the purely linear one. It is a combination of a mystery and a psychological study.
Palisades High School’s drama program continues to explore and push boundaries with provocative plays and musicals, and this promises to be an entertaining, interesting evening.
Actors in this production are: Nic Libonati, Oona Fitzmaurice, Ginger Simpson, Henry Mueller, Kaela Tagliaferro, Spencer Rodman and Stella Simons.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. on November 4, 5, 6 and 11, 12 and 13. Tickets: VIP $25, general admission $16 and students $10 must be purchased online: go.palhigh.org/GoFan. Proof of Covid-19 vaccination required.