Year: 1965

Title of the play: Armstrong’s Last Goodnight

Author: John Arden

Director: John Dexter and William Gaskill

Others in the Cast:

Company/Event: National Theatre Company

Theatre and location: Chichester Festival Theatre

Other productions of the same play:  Old Vic, London

Plot summary: Set in the Scotland of the early sixteenth century and subtitled ‘an exercise in diplomacy’, it mainly concerns the conflict between Sir David Lindsay of the Mount, James V's tutor and chief herald, and Johnny Armstrong of Gilnockie. The former, ‘ane very subtle practiser’, undertakes to tame the latter, a wild freebooter whose cross-border raids are imperilling a precarious peace between the English and the Scots.

Peth’s role: 1st English Commissioner; Lord Johnstone’s Secretary


Production details:

Chichester Festival

Old Vic

Related links:

Interesting review of a 1994 production of the play

The peace 'process' is a dirty and ruthless business. John Arden's 1964 play Armstrong's Last Goodnight, subtitled 'An Exercise in Diplomacy', uses a thorny 16th-century episode in Anglo-Scots history to focus on the steely machinations of realpolitik. 
- Independent


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