The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights

Landmark Playwrights from 1980 to the Present

Author: Aleks Sierz,Martin Middeke,Peter Paul Schnierer

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408123347

Category: Drama

Page: 544

View: 5901

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The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights is an authoritative guide to the work of twenty-five playwrights who have risen to prominence since the 1980s. Written by an international team of scholars, it will be invaluable to anyone interested in, studying or teaching contemporary drama. Among the many playwrights whose work is examined are Sarah Daniels, Terry Johnson, Martin Crimp, Sarah Kane, Anthony Neilson, Mark Ravenhill, Simon Stephens, Debbie Tucker Green, Tanika Gupta and Richard Bean. Each essay features: A biographical sketch and introduction to the playwright A discussion of their most important plays An analysis of their stylistic and thematic traits, the critical reception and their place in the discourses of British theatre A bibliography of texts and critical material
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Freefall

Author: Michael West

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408133318

Category: Drama

Page: 96

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There are things I haven't said. Things I want to say again. I need to think. I need more time. A sudden shock, and a man's life flashes before his eyes. He experiences an intense rush of extraordinary images and tangled memories, revelations and lost connections. People time and places swirl around him. As he valiantly attempts to stitch it all back together, will his luck hold out? The play's conceit follows a man who has suffered a stroke experiencing a series of flashbacks. Trapped within his own head, the audience are taken with him through a whistlestop tour of his life: a series of vivid, often painful episodes from childhood tragedy to crumbling marriage. In a beguiling portrait of mortality and humanity, Freefall explores memory, family and loss. From the author of Dublin by Lamplight and Foley, Freefall reunites award-winning Irish playwright Michael West with The Corn Exchange: Dublin's innovative theatre company who explore the boundaries and possibilities of theatre with their trademark style of Commedia dell'Arte. Freefall is a sharp, humorous and exhilarating look at the fragility of a human life, blending impressionistic beauty, poignancy and comedy.
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'Town' and 'Honest'

Author: D.C. Moore

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408133016

Category: Drama

Page: 129

View: 4818

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DC Moore's Northampton-based play Town is coupled with his hard-hitting, hilarious monologue Honest.
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A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky

Author: David Eldridge,Robert Holman,Simon Stephens

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408198657

Category: Drama

Page: 128

View: 5860

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On a farm in the North East of England a family gathers. Five brothers and four generations feature in an epic play about hope, love, fear and the very end of time. A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky is a refreshingly subtle and compassionate vision of the world on the edge of apocalypse. Within a cosmological context, the focus is on a single family, their relations with each other and their unreconciled regrets, soon to become permanent. With an ensemble of strong, engaging characters, there are knotty, realistic family dynamics and a palimpsest of recent family history. The characters and dialogue are naturalistic but the serious themes are elucidated and alleviated with humour and quirky, surreal touches. The play represents a unique collboration between three of the UK's pre-eminent stage writers. The ambition of the partnership is matched by the ambition of the play's sweeping scope. Whilst the three voices collide, they also ring out individually without sacrificing the piece's coherent wholeness, and the play represents a rare, fascinating study in stage collaboration.
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Mongrel Island

Author: Ed Harris

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1408160757

Category: Drama

Page: 96

View: 828

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Marie is losing herself in her grey office existence, trapped by endless piles of paperwork and the same people saying the same things every single day. But as she is forced to work later and later into the night, she discovers a deeply strange twilight world where a new possibility for rescuing her sanity is illuminated by the fluorescent office lights. Commissioned by Soho Theatre and written by up-and-coming writer Ed Harris, Mongrel Island explores the mind and memory, offering a perspective of how the workplace can strip away our humanity. Combining madcap, surreal humour with an indictment of the corporate world's subjugation of individualism, Mongrel Island is a bittersweet, touching and darkly humourous play.
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Sucker Punch

Author: Roy Williams

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408131366

Category: Drama

Page: 86

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Roy Williams' Sucker Punch looks back on what it was like to be young and Black in the 80s and asks if the right battles have been fought, let alone won.
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The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Author: Bertolt Brecht

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408179938

Category: Drama

Page: 88

View: 8958

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This scathing satire and parable transposes the rise of Hitler to gangland Chicago and continues to have relevance wherever totalitarianism appears today.
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Plays for Young People

Citizenship; Scenes from Family Life; Totally Over You

Author: Mark Ravenhill

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408144794

Category: Drama

Page: 176

View: 7473

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A collection of three plays for young actors written by Mark Ravenhill: Citizenship, Scenes from a Family Life and Totally Over You, and including an introduction by the author. Originally commissioned as part of the National Theatre Connections programme, these three plays were specifically written for teenagers and are ideal for young performers aged 13-25 years old. Written with greater warmth and humanity than you might expect from the author of such controversial works as Shopping and F***ing, Ravenhill's plays for teenagers are compassionate, intelligent and not at all patronising. With themes of particular interest to teenagers, the plays explore the search for identity during the transition to adulthood: self-perception, relationships, sexual identity and obsession with fame. Citizenship is a bittersweet comedy about growing up, following a boy's frank and messy search to discover his sexual identity: schoolboy Tom dreams of being kissed, but is unsure whether it is by a man or woman. Scenes from a Family Life is set in a world where everyone starts to dematerialise. Six months on and Jack and Stacy are the only boy and girl on the planet. For Jack it's a dream, for Stacy a nightmare. And when the vanished start to return, Jack has to learn how complex adult relationships are. Totally Over You is an exploration of celebrity-obsession. Four girls break up with their boyfriends when they decide they only want to see celebrities. The boys decide to trick the girls into thinking that they are on the brink of fame and fortune as a boy band. The girls decide to win the boys back. But what will happen when they discover the truth?
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Mercury Fur

Author: Philip Ridley

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408141523

Category: Drama

Page: 132

View: 1933

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Challenging new play by the enfant terrible of dark, disturbing drama Elliot is panicking. The party that he and his brother Darren have been planning has been brought forward - to tonight. In a lawless, ravaged city, where memories of the past have been brutally erased, the boys and their team survive by realising their clients' darkest fantasies. But just how far are they prepared to go in trading humanity for information? As the light fades and events spiral out of control it becomes clear that on the success of the evening hangs not just their security, but their existence. The world is at its worst...let the party begin. Mercury Fur is a challenging new work containing some explicit scenes that may cause offence. Published to tie-in with the play's premier at the Drum Theatre, Plymouth and The Chololate Factory, London in February 2005, produced by Paines Plough. "Philip Ridley is a singular writer, a prolific polymath, probably a genius, and the creator of some of the most peculiar, grotesque and compelling British plays (and films) of the last several years" Time Out
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'Wastwater' and '|'

Author: Simon Stephens

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408154870

Category: Drama

Page: 96

View: 2233

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"You make one decision. It stays with you. It's like the consequences of it get into your bones." Set on the edges of Heathrow airport, Wastwater is an elliptical triptych - a snapshot of three different couples who make a choice that will define the fallout of their future. Harry is on the point of leaving England and Frieda knows she will never see him again. Lisa and Mark are on the point of a sexual betrayal that takes them into a place darker than they ever thought possible. Sian has a terrifying deal for Jonathan and she isn't going to take no for an answer. A reflective piece by a playwright at the height of his powers and career, Wastwater mimics the flexible and innovative form of Stephens's hit play Pornography with three overlapping, but detachable, parts which can be split and played in differing orders. The play contains Stephens's trademark combination of sensitive character depiction and tough confrontation with political choices. Wastwater is a meditative morality tale and a portrayal of modern-day relationships, formed and deformed by fatal decisions, inevitable consequences and fragile connections. This volume also contains the monologue T5, which portrays a road trip below the heart of London and follows a darkly magical flight out of the edges of the 21st century.
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