Charles Battle has been 'hammered' in the London Stock Exchange, to the point where he may be bankrupted. Maugham keeps his audience ignorant of the disaster
facing Charles for much of the play, at which point we learn what the effect would be on his wife and teenage son and daughter. Charles' good friend Alfred Granger
and his wife and son and daughter, all of whom are a similar age to their Battle counterparts, fill the scenes in the Battles’ house at Golders Green in London.
The play was in written in 1930 and first produced by Athole Stewart at the Vaudeville Theatre London on 30 September that year.
Ronald Squire and Peggy Ashcroft played Charles and Judy Battle.