Love After All: Synopsis

Cast: 3 male / 2 female
Availability: Love After All is not available for production.

Note: This synopsis is based on the original 1959 production of the play which is set in 1910, rather than the revised 1960 production which was moved to a contemporary setting. The differences between the two scripts are largely superficial with the plot remaining the same (see note below).

Love After All is a two act play set in 1910 in Scrimes' house with the living room and Angelica’s upstairs bedroom on view. Act 1 is set one summer morning, Act 2 on the following morning.

Act 1


Scrimes (A miser of eighty-three)
Angelica (His daughter)
Minta (Her maid)
Rupert Hodge (Her weak-headed, aristocratic suitor)
Jim Jones (A constant lover)

These names refer to the original 1959 play rather than the revised 1960 version. For reference the altered names are listed below.

Scrimes / Walter Bagwell
Minta / Ida
Angelica / Angela
Jim Jones / Peter Jones
Rupert Hodge (same)
Scrimes is a miser with plans to marry his daughter Angelica off to Rupert Hodge, the pig-breeding son of a local aristocrat and an obsessive meteorologist. Rupert is genuinely in love with Angelica, who thinks him rather dull and longs for a romantic hero.
From her bedroom, Angelica and the maid Minta spot a passing stranger and wave to him; he waves back and makes for the house. The man introduces himself as Jim Jones and demands to see Angelica, who he has apparently fallen in love with. Scrimes denies him entry and Jim and Angelica can only share a glance.
Rupert arrives and Scrimes demands he propose to his daughter that day. Their talk is interrupted by the arrival of an artist (Jim in disguise) keen to paint Angelica’s portrait. Despite Scrimes refusing to leave the pair alone, Jim manages to give Angelica a love letter which she inadvertently leaves behind. After Jim leaves, Minta follows revealing she knows who he really is and that she has her own eyes on him.
Jim returns, now disguised as a doctor tracing a rare epidemic. He convinces Scrimes he is dying and slips him some sleeping pills. Minta is again not fooled and suggests a better plan to Jim, who leaves. Rupert finds Scrimes apparently dead and calls an undertaker. He breaks the bad news to Angelica, who becomes hysterical, more so when her father rises and begins chasing Rupert accusing him of trying to steal his money.

Act 2

The next morning and Jim is lurking in the grounds where Minta tries to seduce him. They kiss, but Jim calls Angelica’s name as they do so.
Scrimes has found Jim’s note and deduced the artist and doctor were fakes. Rupert returns and Scrimes tells him to disguise himself as an Indian from Bombay Bay as Angelica will now believe anyone in disguise is Jim. He is told to then abduct Angelica, for which he will receive Scrimes’ dowry. Minta, aware of the plan, deceives Angelica by saying Jim will appear as an Indian and she should disguise herself similarly.
Jim meanwhile returns disguised as a flamboyant American woman purporting to be Scrimes’ long lost second cousin, hoping to take Angelica to America to find a wealthy fiancé. Scrimes, taken in by the disguise, reveals his plan. Jim makes his excuses and leaves.
Rupert arrives in disguise and politely abducts Angelica without Scrimes realising. Jim appears similarly disguised and Scrimes gives him the dowry instead, believing him to be Rupert. Jim then abducts a disguised Minta, believing her to be Angelica. Rupert has meanwhile returned to claim his dowry. Scrimes realises he has been tricked and sends Rupert to bring Angelica back. Jim and Minta appear soon after and Scrimes presumes Rupert has returned, handing over a second dowry to Jim.
Now with two dowries in hand, Jim kisses Minta and she reveals her true identity. Jim realises he has been chasing the wrong woman and proposes to Minta.
Angelica, upset that Rupert is not the hero she thought, has returned to her bedroom. Scrimes tells Rupert that he will give him another dowry if he makes up with his daughter. Rupert declares his genuine love to Angelica who realises he is a better man than she thought.
As Jim and Minta - still in disguise - leave the house, they meet Scrimes, who gives them the third dowry as they leave. Rupert and Angelica descend to claim their rightful dowry and Scrimes, realising his third mistake, begins firing his pistols wildly in anger. Rupert and Angelica flee the house to begin a new life together.

Note on the 1960 version of Love After All

Love After All was revived in 1960 with Alan Ayckbourn taking the lead role as originally intended. The play was directed by Julian Herington who decided to make a number of changes to the play. The setting became contemporary and names were changed.
Unfortunately a copy of this revised script does not exist, but judging from Alan Ayckbourn’s memories and surviving production photographs, the play follows practically the same plot except the characters disguise themselves in Chinese costumes rather than Indian costumes in the final act.

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.