T. S. Eliot: The Cocktail Party (2023 words)


The Cocktail Party (1949; published 1950) is a dramatic three-act comedy by T. S. Eliot, written in subtly unobtrusive verse. Eliot wrote it in 1948 when he was a visiting scholar at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. It was first produced to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival on 22 August 1949, with Alec Guinness in the lead role. Unable to find a suitable London West-End venue, Eliot’s producer, Henry Sherek (1900-1967), then decided to launch the play on New York’s Broadway, where it opened on 21 January 1950 at the Henry Miller Theatre. Eliot had been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1948, so there was increasing interest in him and his work. Eliot himself doubted that a British …

Citation: Baker, William. "The Cocktail Party". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 March 2021 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=1272, accessed 18 September 2021.]

1272 The Cocktail Party 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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