Plays

Waste

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Backstage at a hung parliament, visionary Independent Henry Trebell is co-opted by the Tories to push through a controversial Bill. Pursuing his cause with missionary zeal, he’s barely distracted by his brief affair with a married woman until she suffers a lethal backstreet abortion. Threatened by public scandal, the Establishment closes ranks and coolly seals the fate of an idealistic man.

Famously banned by the censors in 1907, Harley Granville Barker’s controversial masterpiece gathers a large ensemble to expose a cut-throat, cynical world of sex, sleaze and suicide amongst the political elite of Edwardian England.Waste was first presented by the Stage Society at the Imperial Theatre, Westminster, UK, on 24 November 1907, in a production directed by the playwright.

The Well of the Saints

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Martin and Mary Doul are blind and homeless tramps. They beg for a living in a village where the locals have taken a perverse pleasure in making the poor unfortunate couple believe that they are the most beautiful, radiant couple that ever walked the earth.

Of course, this is visibly not the case, as they soon discover, when a saint blesses their eyes with water from a holy well, miraculously restoring the blind couple's sight. This new vista gives a terrible insight into their condition, and the cruel face of the world, driving a wedge in their marriage even as their restored sight once again begins to fade.

Synge's dark comedy was first performed in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in 1905.