The Lion And The Unicorn by Robin Hawdon

It is on historical record that, on the evening of October 13th 1939, six weeks after war had been declared on Hitler’s Germany, Winston Churchill & Neville Chamberlain – implacable opponents for years over the appeasement issue – met together with their two wives, Clementine and Anne, for a private dinner at Admiralty House, an event which caused ripples throughout Westminster and Whitehall.

Chamberlain was still Prime Minister, but had seen all his efforts to negotiate peace with Hitler shattered. Churchill had been recalled to the cabinet after ten years ‘in the wilderness’, his dire warnings of the Nazi threat vindicated.

It was the first and only time these four mismatched personalities ever met socially alone together. There is no record as to what transpired during that unique evening, and no one knew what was Churchill’s motive for the invitation.

This new drama imagines the events. Its original production was delayed by Covid.

Cast

  • WINSTON CHURCHILL aged 63
  • CLEMENTINE CHURCHILL aged 54
  • NEVILLE CHAMBERLAIN aged 70
  • ANNE CHAMBERLAIN aged 56
  • INCHES the Churchills’ elderly butler

Setting

The main reception room of the ministerial apartment on the upper floors of Admiralty House. Spacious and elegantly furnished, but at the same time congenial and comfortable. Besides various other paintings, a large portrait of Nelson hangs prominently on one wall.