The Browning Version is the play that
cemented Terence Rattigan's reputation as
a serious, mature playwright. It is viewed
as one of his best works, and one of the
best one-acts ever written. First performed
at the Phoenix Theatre, London, England,
on September 8, 1948, The Browning
Version was coupled with another one-act
by Rattigan entitled Harlequinade under
the umbrella name, Playbill. This show ran
for 245 performances, and Rattigan
received the Ellen Terry Award for The
Browning Version, his second.
The Browning Version made its
New York debut
with Harlequinade on October 12,
1949, but only ran for sixty-two
performances. While praise from
British audiences and critics was
nearly universal when the play
was performed in England,
American critics were generally
not as kind to the Broadway
version, perhaps due to the
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(ΣΧΕΤΙΚΆ ΜΕ ΤΟΝ ΣΥΓΓΡΑΦΈΑ)
• Sir Terence Mervyn Rattigan, CBE (10 June
1911 – 30 November 1977) was a
• He was one of England's most popular mid
twentieth century dramatists.
• His plays are typically set in an upper-
• He is known for such works as The Winslow
Boy (1946), The Browning
Version (1948), The Deep Blue Sea (1952)
and Separate Tables (1954), among many
• Rattigan was educated at Sandroyd School from 1920 to 1925,
at the time based in Cobham, Surrey (and now the home
of Reed's School), and Harrow School.
• Rattigan played cricket for the Harrow First XI and scored 29 in
the Eton-Harrow match in 1929. He was a member of
the Officer Training Corps and organised a mutiny, informing
the Daily Express.
• Even more annoying to his headmaster, Cyril Norwood, was
the telegram from the Eton OTC, "offering to march to his
assistance". He then went to Trinity College, Oxford.
CHARACTERS & CHARACTERSKETCH
(Χαρακτήρες και σκιαγράφηση του
• Mr. Andrew Crocker Harris: Highly disciplined and principled,
Crocker-Harris was a teacher who would not compromise on the rules and
regulations to suffice sentiments of students. Some may agree with his
way of thinking, others may criticise him of being too fastidious. A teacher
who was hard on students when it came to studies. He was not of those
teachers who would crack romantic jokes in the class to make studies fun,
rather his jokes were poor, according to his student, Taplow, as not a
single student was able to comprehend them.
• Frank Hunter: Frank Hunter, a young schoolmaster, watches Taplow’s
moves unseen. Finally, he interrupts and gives Taplow pointers on his
swing. They converse for a few moments. The young man is worried,
however, that Andrew will not give him his “remove.” He plans to study
science, which is Hunter’s subject.
• John Taplow: Taplow is a boy of sixteen studying in lower
fifth. His attitude towards his master Crocker Harris was
quite mixed. He recognized his sense of discipline, sense of
devotion and stoic nature. But he had a personal grudge
against Mr. Crocker Harris. He had to do some extra work on
the last day of the school. Taplow was a bit anxious about
his result, he afraid that Harris might have marked him
down. Taplow considered Mr. Crocker Harris different from
• Millie Crocker Harris: Millie Crocker-Harris, his wife, is
younger and vivacious and quite different from her husband.
She no longer loves him but rather loves Frank Hunter,
another teacher, yet despite having an affair with him she
knows he is not in love with her.
John Taplow & Crocker Harris John Taplow & Frank Hunter
Frank Hunter John Taplow
• John Taplow, who is about sixteen years old and in the lower fifth form of
an English public school, appears at the flat of Andrew Crocker-Harris for
an end-of-term tutorial in the hope of being advanced to the upper fifth.
Seeing a box of chocolates, he helps himself to two pieces, eats one, and
then, either out of conscience or fear of being caught, replaces the other.
• Shortly thereafter, Frank Hunter arrives, and in the course of the
conversation between the two it becomes clear that Crocker-Harris is
retiring because of ill health. Known for his strict discipline, students dub
him the “Crock” and “Himmler of the lower fifth.” Hunter, on the other
hand, enjoys easy rapport with students, as can be seen in Taplow’s
readiness to share confidences with him. While they wait for the “Crock”
to appear, Hunter instructs Taplow in a proper golf swing. Taplow admits
that, although like most students he had his share of fun at Crocker-
Harris’s expense, he does have sympathy for him.
• Taplow is in the midst of mimicking the classics master when Millie
Crocker-Harris enters and overhears the mimicry. She dispatches
Taplow on an errand to the druggist for Crocker-Harris’s heart medicine
so that she can be alone with Hunter, with whom she is having an
• Crocker-Harris appears, only to find that Taplow is not there. When
Taplow returns, Millie leaves to prepare dinner, and Hunter leaves pupil
and master to their work on a translation of Aeschylus’s Agamemnon,
As with the earlier incident with the chocolates, Taplow’s school boyish
nervousness emerges in the form of a thoughtless comment about the
master’s inability to pass his love for the Greek play on to the boys.
Frightened by his own audacity, Taplow attempts to make amends by
encouraging Crocker-Harris to talk about the rhymed translation he
made of the play at the age of eighteen. Then, overcome by emotion
for the first time in years, Crocker-Harris cuts short the session and
Frank Hunter, Millie, Crocker Harris
Crocker Harris & John Taplow Crocker Harris, Millie, Frank Hunter
Frank Hunter, Millie
MEANINGS FROM THE PLOT
(Έννοιες από το οικόπεδο)
• Remove: a division in a school
• Slackers: unmotivated and lazy students
• Muck: useless, of no practical good
• Kept in: grounded, detained, work after the official school hours
• Got Carried Away: to get very excited or lose control of your
feelings due to strong emotions.
• Cut: escape, go away without permission.
• Sadist: a person who gets pleasure out of inflicting pain to
• Shrivelled up: having no feelings
Frank Hunter arrives, and in the course of the conversation
between the two it becomes clear that Crocker-Harris is
retiring because of its ill health. Known for his strict
discipline, students dub him the “Crock” and “Himmler of
the lower fifth”. Hunter on the other hand enjoys easy
rapport with students , as can be seen in Taplow’s readiness
to share confidences with him. While they wait for the
“Crock” to appear, Hunter instructs Taplow in a proper Golf
swing. Taplow admits that, although like most students he
had his share of fun at Crocker-Harris’s expense, he does
have sympathy for him.