Everything in the Garden

The scene is the suburban home of Jenny and Richard. The only thing that seems to stand in the way of their happiness is a lack of money. Then there enters a Mrs. Toothe who offers Jenny the opportunity to make more money than they have ever had, to buy a greenhouse and all the other luxuries that they require for their garden and their lives.

Adapted from the British play by Giles Cooper, Everything in the Garden (1962).

In the introduction to the second volume of The Collected Plays of Edward Albee, Albee recounts how he came to adapt Cooper’s play:

My producers—Richard Barr and Clinton Wilder—asked me to take an hour or so out of my schedule and reset the play in the United States and do whatever other minor fixing might be necessary. Several months later I finished the work, with barely a line of the source play unaltered, and with several other socio-cultural changes, leaving little more than the spine of Mr. Cooper’s play intact.

I particularly enjoyed changing the name and nationality of the whore mistress from a German-Jewish refugee in Mr. Cooper’s play to an upper-class British lady named Mrs. Toothe (nothing sharper than?) in celebration of British subtle anti-Semitism.

The play was quite successful commercially, largely in part due to a film sale. The film was never made, […].

Albee, Edward. Introduction. The Collected Plays of Edward Albee. Vol. 2. New York: Overlook Duckworth, 2005. 7-8.

Type: Full Length Play

Acts: Two

First Performance: 16 November 1967, Plymouth Theatre, New York

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