After the Ball (original)

Noël Coward, Oscar Wilde

Full Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  6f, 6m

In 1899 London, the upper crust gather at Lord and Lady Windermere's London house for a spectacular ball. Lady Windermere at first ignores the gossip that she has a rival for her husband's affections, an older woman called Mrs Erlynne, but she eventually confronts Lord Windermere with the accusation. He admits that he has been paying money to Mrs Erlynne but denies that he has had an affair with her and refuses to say more. In fact, Mrs Erlynne is Lady Windermere's mother, whom her daughter believes to be dead, and Lord Windermere is paying her money to keep her from revealing the relationship.

After the Ball (original)

by  Noël Coward Oscar Wilde

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  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    6f, 6m
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Lady Windermere, still believing the worst of her husband, is tempted by the amorous advances of the debonair Lord Darlington and agrees to visit him at his flat. Mrs Erlynne, learning of this before Lord Windermere, rushes to Darlington's flat to prevent her daughter from committing a destructive folly similar to that which she herself committed twenty years earlier. Without letting Lady Windermere know that they are mother and daughter, Mrs Erlynne persuades her that a liaison with Lord Darlington would be disastrous, but before they can leave, Lord Windermere arrives. The ladies conceal themselves, but Lord Windermere discovers the fan that he has recently given his wife as a birthday present and demands to know if Lord Darlington has Lady Windermere in his rooms. To prevent the exposure of Lady Windermere, Mrs Erlynne enters, saying that it is she who is under Lord Darlington's roof and must have picked up Lady Windermere's fan by mistake.

Lady Windermere's reputation is saved, but Mrs Erlynne's is compromised. Fortunately, her admirer, Lord Augustus Lorton, is convinced of her honour and proposes marriage. The Windermeres are reconciled, and all ends happily. Lady Windermere never learns that Mrs Erlynne is her mother.


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  • Time Period: Victorian (British and American)


6f, 6m
Cast Attributes


  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Medium


Rehearsal Resources

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Violin A, B, C
Clarinet 1st, 2nd, 3rd



Noël Coward

Noël Peirce Coward was born in 1899 and made his professional stage debut as Prince Mussel in The Goldfish at the age of 12, leading to many child actor appearances over the next few years. His breakthrough in playwriting was the controversial The Vortex (1924), which featured themes of drugs and a ...

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Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900) was born in Dublin to Sir William Wilde and his wife Jane. While studying at Oxford, he was fascinated by the aesthetic movement and eventually became a proponent for L'art pour l'art ('Art for Art's Sake'), and wrote the award-winning poem Ravenna. After he graduated in 1879, he moved to Chel ...

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