For Services Rendered Criticism

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When For Services Rendered opened at the Globe Theatre in London in 1932, audiences were not prepared for its anti-war focus. As a result, the play closed after just 78 performances. As Ted Morgan argues in his biography on Maugham, the play is "an indictment of a whole nation. . . . The patriots and promise-makers, the apostles of a better world, were shown up as rogues and hypocrites."

Anthony Curtis, in his introduction to the play, writes that "the London critics damned it with qualified praise." He cites one such critic, Charles Morgan, writing anonymously in The Times, that "Mr. Maugham has given us an enthralling theatrical entertainment, if nothing more." Curtis notes that in The Spectator, Peter Fleming concluded that Maugham tries too hard to blame the war for all of the problems that the characters face. Fleming writes that,

if the war decreed that Mrs. Ardsley should find post-war life...

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This section contains 401 words
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