Breath Of Life

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Important Notice

We are disappointed to announce the cancellation of the Saturday night performance of The Breath of Life due to unforeseen circumstances.

Apologies to anyone who had tickets for Saturday, 30th June or intended to book for that performance. The play will still be performed for 4 nights from Tuesday, 26th – Friday, 29th June so please call the box office on 07500 908331 to check availability and hopefully you will be able to come on another night – all tickets are transferable to an alternative date.


The Breath of Life
by David Hare | Directed by Fleur Buckley | By arrangement with Samuel French Ltd.

New performance dates: Tuesday 26 June – Friday 29 June 2018 @ 8.00pm

‘Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge’

David Hare’s elegantly wrought but vitriolic moral tale centres around the buttoned up but inwardly raging Frances and the brittle but funny, Madeleine who both have the promise of youth behind them and whose lives are interwoven in ways neither of them yet understands.However, they also have another thing in common –Martin, Frances’ lawyer husband who has abandoned both wife and mistress for a younger model in Seattle. Frances turns up at Madeleine’s retirement flat in the Isle of Wight and wife and mistress confront each other.

Over the course of one night they both reflect on their lives and their relationship with the cheating Martin and reflect on the way we always, somehow, disappoint ourselves when youthful idealism turns to plump middle age.
David Hare wrote : ‘ You can no longer call it middle age, and you certainly cant call it old age, its something in between.I wanted to describe the two women at exactly that moment, a long past behind them but the expectation of a considerable future in front of them’ .

The play was premiered in 2002 with Maggie Smith and Judi Dench and the latest performance was in 2011 at The Crucible, Sheffield featuring Isla Blair and Patricia Hodge.


Frances Beale – Margaret Glenn
Madeleine Palmer – Karen Peters-Parker


Anyone can attend performances at Beckenham Theatre but only members can take part onstage or backstage. Be first to find out more about this production – become a member of Beckenham Theatre for just £25 a year!