A LOBSTER AND A LADY by Jeanne Whitmee


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A long, foolishly complicated Upstairs-Downstairs-y episode--without the BBC's (or Mollie Hardwick's) class, tone, or texture. Pretty Polly Harris, a foundling raised by a London dockside innkeeping couple, grows up to be an astonishingly naive teenager; and though she goes into safe service as a maid for two prim sisters, Polly soon winds up by mistake in a brothel--from which she's rescued in time by dear, sweet artist Eddie Tarrant. Eddie explains the Facts of Life to Polly (""with a few words and some deft drawings""), and in no time the two are platonic roommates, then blissful lovers. Nice Eddie even encourages Polly to pursue her ambition to sing on the vaudeville stage--she does well with help from agent Solly Cohen and comedian Freddie Long, and soon she's known as ""The Warmest Heart in London."" But heartbreak awaits: Eddie goes off to hobnob with his proper friends, leaving Polly pregnant; Polly marries kind Freddie (who dies, as does the baby); and Polly must then run a theater all on her own. Will Eddie return? Blimey, yes--and both lovers will learn their real parentages in a swatch of ungainly coincidences. Bland dialogue, cardboard characters, thin atmosphere--weak show, even by the most undemanding period-soap standards.

Pub Date: March 28th, 1980
Publisher: St. Martin's