"The Ruling Class" by Peter Barnes.

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The Ruling Class - Second Unit Consider Barnes' use of surprise and reversals in "The Ruling Class" The Ruling Class is a play about a class that does not rule! Peter Barnes uses the elements of surprise and reversals throughout the play to keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The patriotic start, in the prologue, complete with national anthem, sets the scene with the 13th Earl of Gurney addressing the society of …

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…father's speech at the opening of the play. There is an air of excitement and the prospect for the audience of a happy ending as they finish with a song, which fades into the epilogue with Grace singing about her love for Jack "his manly grace. Makes me-thrill...I love him..." As the lights fades, and the audience relax they are subjected to the ultimate shock of the screams of Grace as he kills her.