John Van Druten

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John William Van Druten (1 June 190119 December 1957) was an English playwright and theatre director, known professionally as John Van Druten. He began his career in London, and later moved to America becoming a U.S. citizen. He was known for his plays of witty and urbane observations of contemporary life and society.

Biography

Van Druten was born in London in 1901, son of a Dutch father, Wilhelmus van Druten and his English wife Eva. He was educated at University College School and read Law at the University of London. Before commencing his career as a writer he practised law for a while as a solicitor and university lecturer in Wales.

He first came to prominence with Young Woodley, a slight but charming study of adolescence, which was produced in New York in 1925, but was banned in London by the Lord Chamberlain's office. In England, it was first produced privately (by Phyllis Whitworth's Three Hundred Club) and then at the Arts Theatre in 1928. When the ban was lifted, it had a successful run at the Savoy Theatre in the West End with a cast including Frank Lawton, Derrick De Marney and Jack Hawkins. The play was filmed twice. It was revived at the Finborough Theatre, London, in 2006.

He was one of the most successful playwrights of the early 1930s in London with star-studded West End productions of his work including Diversion (1928), After All (1929), London Wall (1931) with Frank Lawton and John Mills, There's Always Juliet (1931), Somebody Knows (1932), Behold, We Live...
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