In Praise of Love is a late play by Terence Rattigan, based on the real life experiences of his friend Rex Harrison – whose wife Kay Kendall died of cancer – about the complexities of married life. Sebastian and Lydia have been married for years, ever since Sebastian rescued Lydia from Eastern Europe during the Second World War. Lydia is dying, but in a bid to keep from her how serious her illness is, Sebastian is forced to hide his real feelings and treat her as rudely and carelessly as he has always done. Meanwhile, Lydia is trying to manage the relationship between her husband and son Joey, which is threatening to disintegrate, and she has also invited an old friend, Mark, to come and visit, a friend who has always been in love with her.
This play is rarely performed, but it shows Rattigan at his best, exploring the complexities of marriage and relationships. The talented cast at Beckenham Theatre give strong performances, and altogether the evening is a definite success.