The Play

(Survey of Dramatic Literature)

Pravda, a two-act play, begins in an English garden in which Andrew May is painting. As Rebecca Foley enters and discusses her writing, the audience learns that Andrew has retreated to the countryside to escape the pressures of the newsroom and that Rebecca is nursing him back to health. When Andrew announces his intention to speak again to Le Roux and to return to the newspaper, Rebecca counters that she will leave him.

The next scene and the ones that follow precede the first scene and play out the events that led to Andrew’s countryside retreat. In act 1, scene 2, Andrew is a low-level editor receiving an education in how to rewrite copy to make it either sensational or irrelevant. When the owner of the paper, Sir Stamford Foley, sells the paper to Lambert Le Roux so he can buy a racehorse, Andrew and Rebecca are brought together, the former editors are fired, and Andrew is made editor of The Leicester Bystander.

Act 1, scene 3 introduces Le Roux and his business manager, Eaton Sylvester, as they arrange to buy another English newspaper. It happens that the mother of Michael Quince MP owns 21 percent of the shares of The Daily Victory, and Le Roux persuades Quince that a sale would help Quince’s career as a politician: “As a politician? Not even a politician, no longer a politician, with The Daily Victory behind you, a statesman.”

The following scene dramatizes the struggle on the part of Elliot Fruit-Norton to maintain his position as editor in chief of The Daily Victory despite its sale to Le Roux, while Andrew unwittingly seals the paper’s fate when he testifies to the board of trustees that Le Roux never interfered with the running of The Bystander. Thus, Andrew’s naïve idealism enables the unscrupulous Le Roux to buy another paper. In the final scene of the first act, Fruit-Norton accepts the chairmanship of the...

(The entire section is 787 words.)