Year: 1943

Location: Theatre Royal Haymarket

Part: Billy Mitchell

This Happy Breed is a nine-scene narration of the quiet, but absorbing history of the Gibbons family in their Clapham Common home. Here are the elements typical of so many of the backbone, estimable families of "this little isle" - families that leave no mark, individually or collectively, on recorded history, but whose strivings and aspirations and centuries-old code of decent conduct, constantly observable even through quarrels, contretemps and varying reactions to joy or sorrow, have gone to form "this happy breed" which is the despair of dictators and tyrants.

The Gibbons family is a normal one even in its departures from normality. Father is indulgent but firm; mother is loyal, stable, harassed, respectable to a fault. The children and children-in-law show the customary symptoms of growing pains. James Donald`s drawing of Billy (the faithful sailor lover of the daughter who craved for more abundant life) is a sure and restrained piece of artistry.

James Donald as the likeable sailor Billy in "This Happy Breed", the loyal boy next door