Interview: Jonathan Bank on Yours Unfaithfully, ‘Miles Matheson never got his proper due as a playwright’

Miles Malleson’s un-romantic comedy Yours Unfaithfully takes a peek behind the closed doors of suburban England between the wars. Mint Theater Company’s Jonathan Bank directed the acclaimed world premiere of this forgotten 1933 play in New York and now brings it home to the West End. The play takes us behind the closed doors of a 1930s suburban couple’s open marriage and stars Keisha Atwell, Laura Doddington, Guy Lewis, Dominic Marsh and Tony Timberlake.

We heard from Bank about the play and what it’s like to be opening the London run at Jermyn Street Theatre.

Q&A with Jonathan Bank

What can you tell us about Yours Unfaithfully and your role in the production?

Yours Unfaithfully is a play about open marriage written in 1933 by Miles Malleson. Miles (and his several wives) were all practicing polyamorists. I am not. The play was published but never produced until I found it (in the library) a few years back and directed the World Premiere production in New York in 2017, for Mint Theater Company, where I am the Artistic Director.

How does the play translate from the 1930s to the 2020s?

One of my all-time favorite review quotes came from the NY Times in 2011:

“If there’s one thing you learn by going regularly to the Mint Theater, which specializes in forgotten dramas, it’s that the world has changed less than you think.”

How does it feel to be opening the play at Jermyn Street Theatre?

It feels great! Jermyn Street Theatre is so intimate, it’s really the perfect place for this very intimate play.

Despite the play being ninety years old this is the world premiere production – what does it feel like being part of that?

This production will be the London Premiere, which is very exciting. The author lived and worked in London for his entire career, but he never got his proper due as a playwright. I hope we’ll begin to correct that with this production.

How would you describe the play to someone considering buying a ticket?

Oh, if they were considering buying a ticket, I would urge them to trust me and go ahead! I can promise a surprising and very engaging evening that will send them out of the theater with plenty to talk about.

Yours Unfaithfully is at Jermyn Street Theatre until 1 July. Tickets are available from 020 7287 2875 or online.