Autumn Crocus

Administrative / Biographical History

Dodie Smith wrote her first play, Autumn Crocus, in 1929, while still working in Ambrose Heal's department store; she was also having an affair with Heal. The plot, concerning a Lancashire schoolmistress who fell in love with a married Tyrolean innkeeper, was partly inspired by her visit to the Leipzig toy fair. Basil Dean bought the rights for £100. Despite a disastrous first night, Autumn Crocus, was a huge hit, running for a year in the West End, starring Fay Compton and Francis Lederer. It was later made into a film.