Plays by Tony Harrison

The Kaisers of Carnuntum

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The Kaisers of Carnuntum was first performed in the roman amphitheatre at Petronell-Carnuntum, Austria, June 1995.

The Labourers of Herakles

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The Labourers of Herakles was first performed on an excavated site intended for the New Theatre of the European Cultural Centre of Delphi, Greece, in August 1995.

The Misanthrope

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

This version of Molière's Le Misanthrope was first produced by the National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, London, in February 1973.

Phaedra Britannica

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Phaedra Britannica (after Racine) was first performed by the National Theatre Company at the Old Vic in September 1975.

Poetry or Bust

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Poetry or Bust was first performed at Salts Mill, Saltaire, in September 1993.

The Prince's Play

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Tony Harrison’s radical reassessment of French Classical drama continues with Victor Hugo’s Le Roi s’amuse. The play was banned after only one performance in 1832 and became better known later as the basis for Rigoletto.

The Prince’s Play is Harrison’s eighth piece for the Royal National Theatre. His other work there includes: The Misanthrope, Phaedra Britannica, Bow Down, The Mysteries, The Oresteia, The Trackers of Oxyrynchus and Square Rounds. The Prince’s Play premièred at the Royal National Theatre in April 1996.

Square Rounds

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

How did the utopian promise of science lead to the release of chemical weapons? Written to be performed almost entirely by women, in verse, song and dance, Square Rounds explores a horrifying, awe-inspiring chain reaction which continues to this day.

Square Rounds was first performed at the National Theatre, London, in October 1992.

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus (Delphi)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The Trackers of Oxyrhyncus had a unique one-performance world premiere in the ancient stadium of Delphi in 1988. During 1989 it was performed at the National Theatre, London, and in unique historical spaces in Saltaire and Carnuntum. In it Tony Harrison remakes the fragmentary text of a satyr play by Sophocles into an astringent comedy for our times, incorporating into the action the two Edwardian papyrologists who discovered the original.

This edition contains the text as it was performed in Delphi.

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus (National Theatre)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The Trackers of Oxyrhyncus had a unique one-performance world premiere in the ancient stadium of Delphi in 1988. During 1989 it was performed at the National Theatre, London, and in unique historical spaces in Saltaire and Carnuntum. In it Tony Harrison remakes the fragmentary text of a satyr play by Sophocles into an astringent comedy for our times, incorporating into the action the two Edwardian papyrologists who discovered the original.

This edition contains the text as it was performed at the National Theatre.

Tony Harrison was born in Leeds in 1937. His volumes of poetry include The Loiners (winner of the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), Continuous, v. (broadcast on Channel 4 in 1987, winning the Royal Television Society Award), The Gaze of the Gorgon (winner of the Whitbread Prize for Poetry) and Laureate's Block. Recognised as Britain's leading theatre and film poet, Tony Harrison has written extensively for the National Theatre, the New York Metropolitan Opera, the BBC, Channel 4, the RSC, and for unique ancient spaces in Greece, Austria and Japan. His film Black Daisies for the Bride won the Prix Italia in 1994; this and his volume of film/poems The Shadow of Hiroshima and Other Film/Poems and his feature film Prometheus are published by Faber and Faber. His most recent film/poem was Crossings (LWT), 2002. In 2007 his Collected Film Poetry was published by Faber and his Collected Poems by Penguin. His play, Fram, premiered at the National Theatre in 2008. Tony Harrison was awarded the first PEN/Pinter Prize in 2009.