Ring Round the Moon



  • (L'Invitation au château) A play by Jean Anouilhthat opened in 1947 at the Théâtre de l'Atelier, Paris.The plot concerns the tangled love affairs of identical twins, theshy romantic Frederic and his cynical brother Hugo.

    In 1950 the play was staged in London in an adaptation byChristopher Fry; the production was directed by Peter Brook and starredPaul Scofield as both the twins. Claire Bloom, Cecil Trouncer,and Margaret Rutherford also appeared. Having left the stage as onebrother, Scofield was frequently obliged to make an athletic backstagedash to the opposite wing in order to reappear moments later as theother. In one scene, one of the brothers left the stage to be calledback by the butler, briefly revealing his back to the audience; asplit second later, Scofield appeared at the opposite side of thestage to gasps from the audience, who had not detected that a doublewas used.

    According to Binkie Beaumont, the Paris production was terrible,with dull costumes and settings. In London Beaumont had expensiveEdwardian costumes designed and created a great winter garden in anon-stage conservatory. When Anouilh saw the London production, hetold Beaumont, "I had no idea that my little play could lookso marvellous."