Coffee: A Tragedy

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DOI: 10.5040/9781408169087.00000053
Acts: 5. Roles: Male (6) , Female (4) , Neutral (0)

Coffee centres around the death of a child and asks disturbing questions about the history of the twentieth century, through an examination of what constitutes acceptable behaviour towards children in our time.

The play opens on a young man alone in a room, laying the table. A stranger enters as he leaves, and after a strange ballet, they journey to a dark forest together. There they meet the Woman and the Girl, accusatory and half crazed with hunger. When the men return to the daylight world, they don uniform and take up a position on a cliff-top with machine-guns, a Primus stove and a coffee pot. They are involved in an incident – to them it is hardly more than a gesture, but its alarming triviality captures the history of our century and presents the deepest of questions about ourselves.

Coffee was first staged in 2000 at Le Théâtre National de la Colline in Paris. It is the first play in Bond’s The Paris Pentad (originally called The Colline Tetralogy), followed by The Crime of the Twenty-First Century, Born, People and Innocence.