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The Silken Dagger
The Silken Dagger
Adapted by Jill Pemberton from the short story by Sir Peter Ustinov.

Cast: 4m. Italy, towards the end of World War II. The dust has not yet settled over Europe: there are corpses still unburied. Here and there, fanatics unwilling to surrender their dreams still resist crazily, preferring the chance bullet to the deliberate. For Giuseppe Gargaglia, the Undersecretary of the Interior, it is too late for speculations of this nature. He had his chance, and he missed it. Captured ignominiously in the clothes of an old woman, he now sits in a cell with nothing but his thoughts for company. To make matters worse, his jailers are Italian, therefore compassionate. They make endless little gestures hoping that he would feel at home. One of them, Arnaldo, even asks him for his autograph. Twenty-four hours after his arrest, Gargaglia receives two offers. The first comes from Quattrospille, the local leader of the partisans, and Gargaglia dismisses it without hesitation. However, he is not in a position to refuse the second offer made by Guido Manasse, a brilliant Jewish forensic orator and lawyer, but it shakes him to his soul. Sir Peter Ustinov's finely drawn characters are vividly brought to life in this dramatic adaptation of his short story. Ustinov's compassionate insight into human behaviour observes emotions ranging from childish spite to soul-crushing vengeance in the struggle to cope with the aftermath of war. One int. set. Approximate Running Time: 45 minutes.

Play details
Status:  In Stock
Type of show:  One-Act
Catalog Code:  SL3
Cast Size:  4
No. of Act(s):  1
Pages:  23
Royalty:  $40.00 /perf.*
Cost:  $7.95
Approx. Running Time:  45 min.
Target Audience: High School | College and Adult
Performing Group: College Theatre | Senior Theatre | Stock & Lort
Genre: Drama
ISBN (10): 1583423885
Publication Date: 05/10/2007
Jill Pemberton was born in Manchester, England, and has written stories and poetry all her life. After a major operation in 2000, Jill came across Frontiers of the Sea, a collection of short stories by Sir Peter Ustinov. One of these stories, "The Silken Dagger," left such a deep impression that she spent her remaining convalescence period adapting it into ...More
Sir Peter Ustinov has written numerous plays, books, and film scripts, and he has starred in 40 films and 14 plays. He has directed eight films, eight plays and 10 operas; recorded eight best-selling records, starred in his own radio show, appeared in dozens of top television shows all over the world, and narrated many others. Over his life, Sir ...More
Rights & Availability
This title can only be licensed/sold in the U.S. and Canada
* Please note that royalties quoted in our catalog are intended for K-12 schools with a standard curriculum only. All other producing groups must submit a completed application.

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