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Donkey Serenade

By Alison Mcmaster


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The action takes place in 1930 in a living room behind Paradise Brothers' antique shop, where the family neglect the business while waiting for their elderly relative "Lucky Jim'' Paradise, in Canada, to die and leave them his fortune. Only Oliver, the younger son, tries to keep the business going. He is secretly in love with Rosemary Simpkins, whom everyone imagines will one day marry Colin, his elder brother. Kate, the resident help, who does her best to look after them all, is - unknown to the family - Lucky Jim's illegitimate daughter. In response to an urgent appeal for money from Colin, old Jim unexpectantly arrives from Canada to put the family to work under threat of disinheritance. All goes well until Jim's past catches up with him. Just when he has discovered that Kate is his daughter, an interfering neighbour finds out that Jim is, in fact, penniless, and tells the family. A battle for supremacy ensues between him and his snobbish sister-in-law who reminds him that he is now in no position to go on dictating to them. He counters by pointing out that "Paradise Brothers'' does not refer to her sons but to her late husband and himself. Now he has Kate to look after, he will take his rightful place and run the business himself. Meanwhile, Oliver's love affair has been happily resolved, and old Jim has won what had been a running fight between himself and the interfering neighbour.