“Feelings can’t sometimes be helped, but the expression of them can.”
Inspired by La Dame aux Camelias, and set amidst the glamorous and exotic society of the 1950s French Riviera, Variation on a Theme revolves around the tempestuous love affair between Rose, a beautiful and worldly socialite, and Ron, a young ballet dancer with a keen eye for social advancement.
In an emotionally charged story of desire and disillusionment, Rose is persuaded by Ron’s choreographer and mentor, Sam, to sacrifice her personal happiness for the sake of her young lover’s success and career. But as Rose’s health deteriorates, and Ron is faced with the loveless reality of their separation, they finally face up to their need to be needed. A forgotten classic by “one of the supreme dramatists of the 20th century” (Michael Billington, Guardian), Terence Rattigan’s Variation on a Theme was presented by HPZ Productions in association with Neil McPherson at the Finborough Theatre in February 2014. The production, its first in more than fifty years, starred twice Olivier Award nominated Rachael Stirling. The play’s original 1958 premiere was directed by John Gielgud and starred Margaret Leighton and Jeremy Brett.