THE GIN GAME by D. L. Coburn

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1978—79), THE GIN GAME by D. L. Coburn is a serious yet extremely funny play. It concerns two elderly people, Weller Martin and Fonsia Dorsey, who meet in a nursing home for the aged and discover they both enjoy gin rummy. So they begin to play, exchanging lifelong memories and revealing intimate details of their lives in the process. Fonsia has beginner’s luck and wins every time, gradually throwing Weller into uncontrolled rage. The card game becomes a metaphor for life—each hand growing more suspenseful, funnier and more tragic-as Weller and Fonsia use the newly gained secrets about each other as psychological weapons. Masks are ripped away and pretenses are shown for what they really are: lies, which both people have based their entire lives upon. Weller was always a failure, in business as well as in life, and desperately hopes for a victory at cards to conquer a lifetime of defeats. Fonsia was always egocentric, demanding the last word in every situation, and her self-righteous vindictiveness has led only to very empty triumphs in life. In the end, this very moving and entertaining play depicts our tragic need to win at all costs—in life as well as at cards.



The English Theatre of Hamburg e.V. is a private, professional theatre, the first to be founded in the whole of Germany.

It is subsidized in part by the Hamburg Ministry of Culture and is a non-profit organization and a member of the Deutscher Bühnenverein. Enjoy one of our evening or daytime performances of an English language play. Our international audience includes students of English as well as native speakers.

We present distinguished plays of all genres in the original English on a professional basis in our efforts to contribute to international communication through language and the art of the theatre.