Orwell’s early novel portrays the shabby-genteel world of the impoverished middle class in the 1930s.
The play covers a year in the life of Dorothy Hare, a repressed young woman who loses her memory following a nervous breakdown.
We meet her as she wakes from amnesia to find herself penniless on the streets of London.
The story follows her progress back to respectability, from the hop fields of Kent and lodging in a Lambeth brothel, to a delirious episode of homelessness in Trafalgar Square.
But Dorothy is a survivor and regains respectability through teaching in a fourth-rate private school for the Dickensian Mrs Creevy – one of Orwell’s most memorably villainous characters.
A Clergyman’s Daughter by George Orwell (Copyright, 1935) by permission of Bill Hamilton as the Literary Executor of the Estate of the Late Sonia Brownell Orwell.