Ring Around the Moon

Ring Around the Moon

This picture is from the first London production of Ring Around the Moon at the old Globe Theatre in 1950, starring Paul Scofield playing a dual role as twin brothers and Claire Bloom as a poor ballet dancer, Isabelle. This is an unusually romantic fairy tale for this generally pessimistic dramatist.

The production was also notable for the star names involved in its production. The set and costumes were designed by Oliver Messel and it was produced by Peter Brook, while Margaret Rutherford, who later went on to play in the film versions of Miss Marple, played the old wheelchair-bound aristocrat. Mona Washbourne played Isabelle's mother.

The critics regarded this as a lightweight play, closer to a masque or variety entertainment, since the plot was paper-thin and conventionally romantic, and the songs gave the whole production the air of an Ivor Novello production rather than a French comedy.