Summary (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
The most recurring of Storey’s themes, family conflicts, is nowhere more forcefully rendered than in In Celebration, first produced at The Royal Court. For their parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary, Andrew, Steven, and Colin Shaw—lawyer, teacher, and labor arbitrator, respectively—return to a grimy mining village to take their parents to the best local hotel for a celebratory dinner.
The dinner at the town’s most posh hotel serves as an occasion in act 1 for the renewal of familial relationships. In act 2, the acrimonious purging of family secrets, which for many years had lain unspoken beneath the surfaces of small-town respectability, takes place.
All three sons are the beneficiaries of a university education. Andrew and Steven are married and have families, and Colin is about to marry. All three seem to have fulfilled their parents’ dreams for them. Steven and Andrew have taken on the responsibility of parenthood. Colin, to his parents’ satisfaction, announces his intention to marry, adding that he will do so only because it is “less embarrassing to be married than not to be.”
Yet with rituals established—education, jobs, and family—something is amiss. Andrew, the eldest and most cynical of the sons, has given up law to become an artist. Steven has “packed in” the much-talked-about novel he is writing. Colin’s reluctance to marry, having an implication of homosexuality, foreshadows marital...
(The entire section is 536 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of In Celebration Summary. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Bibliography (Magill's Survey of World Literature, Revised Edition)
Bygrave, Mike. “David Storey: Novelist or Playwright?” Theatre Quarterly 1 (April-June, 1971): 31-36.
Free, William. “The Ironic Anger of David Storey.” Modern Drama 16 (December, 1973): 307-316.
Hutchings, William. The Plays of David Storey: A Thematic Study. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1988.
Hutchings, William, ed. David Storey: A Casebook. New York: Garland, 1992.
Jackson, Dennis, and Wendy Perkins. “David Storey.” In British Novelists Since 1960. Vol. 207 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Group, 1999.
Kalson, Albert. “Insanity and the Rational Man in the Plays of David Storey.” Modern Drama 19 (June, 1976): 111-128.
Kerensky, Oleg. “David Storey.” In The New British Drama: Fourteen Playwrights Since Osborne and Pinter. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1977.
Liebman, Herbert. The Dramatic Art of David Storey: The Journey of a Playwright. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1996.
Pittock, Malcolm. “David Storey and Saville: A Revaluation.” Forum for Modern Language Studies 32, no. 3 (1996): 208-227.
Pittock, Malcolm. “Revaluing the Sixties: The Sporting Life Revisited.” Forum for Modern Language Studies 26, no. 2 (1990): 96-108.
Quigley, Austin E. “The Emblematic Structure and Setting of David Storey’s Plays.” Modern Drama 22 (September, 1979): 259-276.
Rees, Jasper. “The Last of the Angry Young Men.” Independent, July 14, 1998, p. 10.
Taylor, John Russell. “David Storey.” In The Second Wave . London: Methuen, 1971.
Taylor, John Russell. David Storey. In Vol. 239 of Writers and Their Work, edited by Ian Scott-Kilbert. London: Longman Group, 1974.