Dramatic recital that almost worked (10)
I believe the answer is:
Here is my best explanation:
'dramatic' is the definition.
'recital that almost worked' is the wordplay.
'almost' means to remove the last letter (most of the word but not all of it).
'worked' indicates an anagram.
'recitalthat' with its final letter taken away is 'recitaltha'.
'recitaltha' is an anagram of 'THEATRICAL'.