Amidst pushy parents, eccentric teachers, hours of repetitive practice, stage fright, the agony of competitions and exams and the dream of greatness, Ted and Richard grow up as ‘piano nerds’. As they mature, they become more aware of the gap between the merely very good and the great, and come to the humbling realization that concert stardom may be out of reach, but they just might be two of the best piano players in the neighbourhood, and that in itself is worth celebrating.
6 Essential Questions tells the story of Renata as she travels to Brazil to reunite with the mother who abandoned her when she was just five years old. In Rio, Renata discovers more than she bargained for in her quest to uncover the truth of who abandoned whom. She is continually tossed about by her undead grandmother and a semi-invisible uncle as they choreograph the ultimate dance of mother and daughter, both of whom must confront their dreams before they can ever attempt to confront each other. Imaginations run wild in this strangely beautiful and funny story loosely based on Uppal’s critically acclaimed memoir, Projection: Encounters with My Runaway Mother, a finalist for both the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction.
Jeffrey Archer's play The Accused was written with a nod to the similarities of the performative environments that are the Courts of Justice and the theatre stage: here, the audience listen to the cases made by both sides of a murder trial, ask themselves if Dr Sherwood murdered his wife, if Jennifer Mitchell was his mistress, and which, if any, of his alibis should be believed.
At the end of the trial, the audience are then asked to deliver their verdict; do they think the doctor is guilty or not guilty. After their verdict is given, the play continues, with one of two endings, depending on how they have voted. Only then is the truth fully revealed.
The Accused premiered at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, in September 2000.
Seeing beyond Winston's disfiguring scars and foreseeing a future with him, Lise falls in love and the couple soon marry. Years later, having inherited Lise's gift, two of their children, Theresa and Jerome, must struggle to find their place within the community. But for Leo, their middle child, that is just the start of his worries. As he grows older and the chasm between himself and his family grows, Leo realizes that he doesn't belong to his family. While familial tensions mount and secrets are revealed, the Evans family come to see the monumental effect even the smallest spark can create. Based on the short story by Michael Crummey, Afterimage explores the connections built within both family and community, of finding a place to belong. Winner of the 2010 Governor General's Literary Award in Drama.
Guy and Kathleen grow their crops, raise their daughter, and pay their taxes. But Africa is changing, country by country. White farmers in Zimbabwe must now answer for history’s crimes. When Charles arrives with a smile and a purchase order, there’s more than just land at stake. With violence threatening to erupt, he will do whatever it takes to restore their farm to the ‘native’ population.
As truths are revealed and moralities questioned, are things ever more than simply black and white?
Inspired by real events in Zimbabwe, May Sumbwanyambe’s debut play is an unflinching examination of land ownership, dispossession and justice in a post-colonial world.
Winner of the 2016 Alfred Fagon Audience Award, After Independence received its world premiere at the Arcola Theatre, London, on 4 May 2016, in a production by Papatango Theatre Company.
David Edgar's Albert Speer is a panoramic adaptation of Gitta Sereny’s biography of the man whose devotion to Hitler blinded him to the worst crime of the twentieth century. It was first performed in the Lyttelton auditorium of the National Theatre, London, on 25 May 2000.
Plucked from obscurity to be Hitler’s chief architect and Minister of War, Albert Speer became the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany and the closest Hitler had to a friend. Having narrowly escaped hanging at Nuremberg, Speer emerged from twenty years at Spandau gaol, as he thought, a changed man. But even as he publishes his bestselling accounts of the Third Reich, the extent of his complicity in Nazi crimes returns to haunt him – and his long-suffering family.
The National Theatre premiere was directed by Trevor Nunn and designed by Ian MacNeil, with a cast of 28 actors playing more than 65 parts, including Alex Jennings as Albert Speer and Roger Allam as Hitler.
Almighty Voice and His Wife shakes up a familiar story from the Saskatchewan frontier, reimagining it from the postmodern late twentieth century. The “renegade Indian story” transforms into both an eloquent tale of tragic love and an often hilarious, fully theatrical exorcism of the hurts of history. A modern classic about the place of First Nations people in Canada.
Greg is a once-respected journalist searching for a high-profile story that will help revive his career. Chloe is the missing girl he wrote about six years earlier who has just returned home to a world she no longer recognizes. Instead of leading police to her captor, Chloe turns to Greg to share her story. Unfortunately for him, Chloe won't provide names or locations, and instead dictates exactly how the story should be told. But Chloe has become an international celebrity – both respected and scrutinized by the public – and they all want to know, who is her kidnapper? Why is she protecting him? When Greg begins to question whether truth and fiction have collided, he takes matters into his own hands, in spite of the drastic consequences. Even if that means coming face to face with Chloe's abductor. Inspired by the story of Natascha Kampusch, An Almost Perfect Thing is a multi-perspective thriller about possession and desire, the need to own our stories and our right to the truth.
L.A. Theatre Works presents the exclusive dramatization of Joyce Carol Oates’ best-selling novel. In American Appetites, the façade of an affluent suburban couple crumbles under the weight of tragedy and scandal. When Ian McCullough accidentally pushes his wife through a plate glass window during an argument, the American dream turns into a nightmare. A sophisticated, witty and chilling tale.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Lisa Akey, Keith Carradine, Alastair Duncan, Paul Eiding, Anna Gunn, Dan Lauria, Jean Louisa Kelly, Frank Muller, B.J. Ward, Elizabeth Ward Land, Liza Weil and Tegan West.
Featuring: Lisa Akey, Keith Carradine, Alastair Duncan, Paul Eiding, Anna Gunn, Dan Lauria, Jean Louisa Kelly, Frank Muller, B.J. Ward, Elizabeth Ward Land, Liza Weil, Tegan West
In this wild satire, a Mexican immigrant has a feverish dream while studying for his American citizenship exam. He meets a parade of characters ranging from Sacagawea to Teddy Roosevelt to Jackie Robinson, who take him on a mind-bending, hilarious, and poignant trip through American history.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast recording, featuring Keith Jefferson, Richard Montoya, Todd Nakagawa, Sean San José, Kimberly Scott, Herbert Siguenza, Tom Virtue, Libby West, and Caro Zeller.
Directed by Shana Cooper. Recorded before a live audience.
Featuring: Keith Jefferson, Richard Montoya, Todd Nakagawa, Sean San Jose, Kimberly Scott, Herbert Siguenza, Tom Virtue, Libby West, Caro Zeller
Dava Sobel’s thoughtful play brings to life the story of Nicolaus Copernicus, the Renaissance astronomer and mathematician who proposed the heliocentric model of the universe in which the Sun stands at the center. Plagued by self-doubt and threatened by religious censure, Copernicus resisted the publication of his work until just before his death in 1543. And the Sun Stood Still follows Copernicus in those final years as he works to complete his research with the help of Georg Rheticus, a young disciple from Wittenberg, Germany. Includes a conversation with playwright Dava Sobel, author of A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos. An L.A. Theatre Works full cast recording, featuring Robert Foxworth, John Vickery, Kate Steele, Michael Kirby, and Gregory Harrison. Directed by Rosalind Ayres. And The Sun Stood Still is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.
Featuring: Robert Foxworth, Gregory Harrison, Michael Kirby, Kate Steele, John Vickery
Pip and Meredith have had a bust-up. It was only about their opinion of a film, but it’s led to more significant differences coming to light. Pip has been having an affair. Meredith is in total shock.
As families and friends become embroiled in Pip and Meredith’s crisis, past prejudices, harsh judgements and painful truths come to light. The arguments that ensue go far beyond just being about Pip and Meredith, and what they should do about their marriage.
In ten taut arguments, William Boyd explores what it is to dispute with those we love – and those we claim to love. He looks at our propensity to judge others and our inherent power to cause real pain. He shows how the arguments we have with one another get to the very heart and reality of our relationships.
Darkly funny in tone, The Argument offers a bitingly acute take on human dynamics. The play was first performed at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs in March 2016.
On a publicity tour in Japan, Carl, a Canadian author, finds himself falling in love amidst the sacred stages of Noh theatre and the seedy dance clubs in Tokyo, wired on cocaine and sake. His object of affection is the young, seductive actor, Yori, but the affair becomes complicated when Carl’s translator and Yori’s sister, Nushi, becomes entranced with him. As his tour continues, he straddles the fragmentary place between two cultures – one of individuality and directness, the other of tradition and formality – and uncovers the dualities that exist in life and love. Based on The Tale of Genji, one of the world’s oldest pieces of literature, MacIvor’s script takes us into the centre of a clandestine Japan as experienced by the visiting outsider.
After suffering an injury during a tour of Afghanistan, Michael, a young soldier, is recovering in the rehabilitation wing of a hospital. The last thing he wants is to spend time with a twelve-year-old girl, but Halley, a spirited Pathfinder and ‘reading fiend’, is eager to earn her community service badge. The pair is at odds from the start, but they find a shared interest in The Red Badge of Courage, the classic American Civil War novel, which spurs them to reveal their own stories. As their friendship grows, uncomfortable truths are exposed and questioned, redefining the meaning of courage and heroism.
Winner of the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play, Tracy Letts' darkly comic epic offers a painfully funny look at a family struggling in the desolate heart of America.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast recording, featuring members of the original Steppenwolf Theatre and Broadway productions: Tara Lynne Barr, Shannon Cochran, Deanna Dunagan (Tony Award®, Best Leading Actress), Kimberly Guerrero, Francis Guinan, Scott Jaeck, Ron Livingston, Robert Maffia, Mariann Mayberry, Rondi Reed (Tony Award®, Best Featured Actress), and David Warshofsky.
Directed by Bart DeLorenzo. Recorded by L.A. Thetare Works before a live audience.
Featuring: Tara Lynne Barr, Shannon Cochran, Rosemarie DeWitt, Deanna Dunagan, Kimberly Guerrero, Francis Guinan, Scott Jaeck, Ron Livingston, Robert Maffia, Mariann Mayberry, Robert Pine, Rondi Reed, David Warshofsky
The story of a woman accused of murdering her husband at a military outpost in the Old West. Did hostile Indians force her to scalp him as revenge for his brutality, or did she kill him out of frustration with her plight as a soldier’s wife?
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring John Castellanos, Harry Hamlin, Amy Irving, Peter Jacobs and Jessica Walter.
Recorded before a live audience.
Featuring: John Castellanos, Harry Hamlin, Amy Irving, Peter Jacobs, Jessica Walter
In a white trash, northern Ontario gothic, we follow Beatrice ‘Beaver’ Jersey as she learns to grow beyond her circumscribed world, struggling with her whacky extended family, her alcoholic father, and her chain-smoking ghost of a mother.
Suzanna sets up Max, her best friend, on a blind date with her husband's co-worker, the mysterious Becky Shaw. What follows is a series of cataclysmic events that forever changes all their lives. Mixing sharp wit and humor with the taut suspense of a psychological thriller, Becky Shaw is a comedy of romantic errors – and a Pulitzer Prize finalist – that will keep audiences guessing.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring:
Emily Bergl as Suzanna Slater
Matt Letscher as Andrew Porter
Marsha Mason as Susan Slater
Mandy Siegfried as Becky Shaw
Josh Stamberg as Max Garrett
Directed by Bart DeLorenzo. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.
Featuring: Emily Bergl, Matt Letscher, Marsha Mason, Mandy Siegfried, Josh Stamberg
In Beloved Clara, the intense relationships between Robert Schumann, his wife Clara, and Johannes Brahms are brought to vivid life through music and excerpts from their passionate writings. With the arrival of the young, dynamic Brahms into their household, the Schumanns’ fragile marriage is threatened by the deepening bond between Clara and their gifted guest. “This is a beautifully put - together portrait…Kleenex required” says The Guardian (London).
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Rosalind Ayres, Martin Jarvis and Lucy Parham.
Featuring: Rosalind Ayres, Martin Jarvis, Lucy Parham
Bunny Best has met her unfortunate end after a mishap at a Gay Days parade. Now her two sons, Kyle and Hamilton, have the task of arranging her funeral and caring for her most beloved companion, a troublesome Italian greyhound named Enzo. In the bustle of obituary-writing, eulogy-giving and dog-sitting, sibling rivalry quickly reaches its peak and years of buried contentions surface.
Take an unforgettable ride with the classic sketches that helped make this America’s foremost comedy troupe. The Second City lampoons every aspect of modern American life, with brilliant improvised sketches on subjects ranging from salad bars to affairs of state.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Fran Adams, Scott Adsit, Scott Allman, Edward Asner, Samantha Bennett, Jennifer Bill, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Arye Gross, Jenn Jolovitz, Tim Kazurinsky, Laura Krafft, Joe Liss, Marsha Mason, Michael McCarthy, Jerry Minor, Tim O'Malley, David Razowsky, Mitch Rouse, John Rubano, Ruth Rudnick, Amy Sedaris, Brian Stack, Jill Talley, Miriam Tolan, Nia Vardalos, Ron West, Peter Zahradnick and Jim Zulevic.
Featuring: Fran Adams, Scott Adsit, Scott Allman, Edward Asner, Samantha Bennett, Jennifer Bill, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Paul Dinello, Arye Gross, Jenn Jolovitz, Tim Kazurinsky, Laura Krafft, Joe Liss, Marhsa Mason, Michael McCarthy, Jerry Minor, Tim O'Malley, David Razowsky, Mitch Rouse, John Rubano, Ruth Rudnick, Amy Sedaris, Brian Stack, Jill Talley, Miriam Tolan, Nia Vardalos, Ron West, Peter Zahradnick, Jim Zulevic
Life has gotten tough for Crystal: her job is in jeopardy; her house has been repossessed; and her daughter has been taken by social services. It's time for Crystal to get going. But in her effort to get her daughter back and put her life on the right track, Crystal is forced to question just how far she's willing to go to survive.
Bethany by Laura Marks is the story of a charismatic saleswoman forced to make moral compromises and impossible choices in a tough economic climate. It was first presented in the UK at the High Tide Festival in Halesworth, Suffolk, on 12 May 2012.
Based on the journalist-playwright’s original article in The New Yorker, Betrayed is the story of three young Iraqi translators who risk everything for America's promise of freedom while their country collapses around them. “The clarity of the writing, the urgency of the story being told … give the play a sharp dramatic impact and a plain-spoken beauty. Painful human experience is presented here as just that. Nothing else is necessary to awaken sympathy, despair and awareness of a grave moral failure on the part of the American government.” - New York Post
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Jeremy Beck, Kevin Daniels, Andrea Gabriel, John Getz, Sevan Greene, Sam Kanater and Waleed F. Zuaiter.
Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.
Featuring: Jeremy Beck, Kevin Daniels, Andrea Gabriel, John Getz, Sevan Greene, Sam Kanater, Waleed F. Zuaiter
Marion, a working mother with a special-needs child, has discovered a devastating secret: her husband Curtis has been engaging in a torrid love affair with none other than their son's young teacher, Teresa. Armed with love notes between Curtis and Teresa, Marion shows up to a parent-teacher interview to confront the woman who may be the thread that unravels her life. What ensues is a gripping and raw confrontation between two women, one fighting to protect her family, the other fighting for the family she always wanted.
Standing at the edge of the ship, contemplating a watery demise, Billy is called back to reality when his dead mentor, Sid Diamond, appears as a handpuppet. Sid forces Billy to re-enact his life as a puppet show, rekindling the passion Billy once had for puppets, people and the dream of a life that sparkles. For anyone stuck in the middle – mid-career, mid-love, mid-life – this requiem for a golden boy shines a little light on the wonder of youth meeting the wisdom of age.
Five classmates come together for their thirtieth high-school reunion. Some see it as a welcome trip home, others see it as an obligation, while a few never even left. But as the night wears on, the one-time classmates start to reconnect and reminisce. The more alcohol that's consumed the closer the friends come to confronting their darkest secrets. Once again, Daniel MacIvor proves to us that just because we're all grown up doesn't mean we have everything figured out. His characters are sometimes naive, often crass, but always honest. As they try to reclaim their high-school glory days, these five friends charge headfirst into the secrets they all tried to run so far from.
Twin sisters Poubelle and Angelique are bonded in both biology and shared tragedy after a car accident leaves them orphaned along a prairie highway in a pool of blood. But the young twins are brought home with Dr Glass after their remarkable recovery, and quickly find themselves the subject of endless experiments. In a quest to study Poubelle and Angelique's undeniable bond, Dr Glass's questionable practices are soon scrutinized by a young doctor who might be the twins' only hope for a normal life. Blood: A Scientific Romance probes the questions: do relationships take on new meaning when they begin to shape not only our experiences, but our biology? And do we, in fact, complete one another?
Leni Riefenstahl, 100 years old, is in the office of a young female Hollywood studio executive. Leni's reason to be there is clear: to make one last desperate pitch to direct her first feature film in 50 years. A thought-provoking contemplation on art, politics, and the seduction of fascism, and a theatrical examination of a woman who danced one perfect dance with the devil and forever changed the way films are made. Leni Riefenstahl was one of the most remarkable and controversial women of the 20 century. Dancer, actor, photographer, and filmmaker, Riefenstahl caught the eye of Adolf Hitler with her prodigious first film: The Blue Light. A cinematic innovator, her decision to direct Triumph of the Will, got her blacklisted as a filmmaker until her death in 2003 at 101, unrepentant and mostly forgotten.
Two pschychiatrists - one new and inexperienced, the other his well-established mentor - battle over the diagnosis and treatment of Chris, a young black man who claims to be the son of African dictator Idi Amin. This dark, edgy comedy - winner of the 2001 Olivier Award for Best New Play - will leave you wondering if anyone in this threesome is sane.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Teagle F. Bougere, Matt Letscher and Daniel Davis.
Featuring: Teagle F. Bougere, Matt Letscher, Daniel Davis
Blue/Orange is based on Joe Penhall's award winning play of the same name. In a London psychiatric hospital, an enigmatic young man claims, among other things, to be the son of an exiled African dictator - a story that becomes unnervingly plausible. In a fiery and suspenseful debate, his doctor and consultant clash over the patient's diagnosis and treatment. What ensues is an incendiary tale of race, madness and a Darwinian power struggle at the heart of a dying National Health Service. Filmed on location in London, and shot in high definition, this dynamic and often very funny adaptation of Joe Penhall's award-winning play retains the music, lighting and sound team from the original stage production, which premiered in April 2000.
‘Beautifully written - intelligent, complex, uncompromising and compassionate’ The Times
‘Riveting and intense … often-funny, always smart … Parkes delivers those lines with a manic energy illustrative of the lines Chris straddles. And both Simm and Cox match his intensity, to the point where one forgets there are only three speaking characters.’ Multichannel News, USA
‘All three acting performances are strong. Brian Cox is excellent as the ambitious Robert, gradually and artfully revealing the baser impulses that reside beneath the doctor’s polished professional demeanor. Shaun Parkes’s searing portrayal of Chris is the heart of the show and he is particularly good at giving life to the menagerie of concocted and also legitimate-fears that haunt the patient.” CultureVulture, USA
Awards for the original theatre production:
Best New Play Olivier Awards for 2001; Best Play of the Year, Evening Standard Awards 2000; Best New Play, Critics' Circle Theatre Awards 2000
Director: Howard Davies; Written and adapted by: Joe Penhall based on his award winning play of the same name; Producer: Richard Fell; Executive Producer: Bill Boyes; Starring: Brian Cox, John Simm, Shaun Parkes.
Distributed under licence from Educational Publishers LLP
American expatriate Sidney Webb and Sister Margaret, his British colleague, work tirelessly to rehabilitate Cambodian children from the nightmare of prostitution. After a surprise raid on a brothel, an eager young U.S. lawyer places three liberated orphans under Sidney and the Sister’s care. The girls begin the inspirational process of recovery under the loving watch of their new protectors. An excitingly original script by an emerging American playwright.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Samantha Abrigo, John Cabrera, Gregory Itzin, Jane Le, Amy Sara Lim, Emily Liu, William Mapother, Jenny O'Hara, Michelle Ongkingco, Elizabeth Pan and Keo Woolford.
Featuring: Samantha Abrigo, John Cabrera, Gregory Itzin, Jane Le, Amy Sara Lim, Emily Liu, William Mapother, Jenny O'Hara, Michelle Ongkingco, Elizabeth Pan, Keo Woolford
An elf named Bob gets banished from the North Pole to learn a lesson about cooperation. Because of his bad attitude, Santa sends him to a small town to help out with their Christmas pageant. Here, Bob is faced with a group of bumbling actors who are doing their best to put on the greatest darn Christmas show their town has ever seen.
Jamie is 22 years old and works 12-hour shifts operating a wood processor, clear-cutting for pulp. At the end of each shift, he walks through the destruction he has created looking for injured birds and animals and rescues those he can. Jamie's desire to escape this world is thwarted by his fear of leaving the place where he has some status.
Bone Cage examines how young people in rural communities, employed in the destruction of the environment they love, treat the people they love at the end of their shift. Bone Cage is about the difficulty in growing and hanging on to dreams in a world where dreams are seen as impractical or weak. It is funny. It is tragic. It is about different kinds of escaping. It is about a soul trapped in its own rib cage, a cage of bone, a bone cage. Winner of the 2008 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama
In this vivid and troubled story of an isolated young man, playwright Leo Butler casts a sharp eye over the city and picks someone for us to follow.
A bleak portrait of modern London and a scathing critique of the economic forces that destroy communities and promote isolation, Boy provoked considerable debate upon its first production. Michael Billington wrote in the Guardian that “there are distinct echoes of Georg Büchner’s fragmented drama Woyzeck in the portrayal of the hero as a victim of social circumstance”, while writing in the Telegraph Laura Shilling observed that “its power to disturb is all the more troubling because it offers neither accusation nor redemption. You find yourself wondering about the morality of turning hopelessness into a beautifully crafted theatrical experience. But what would be a more virtuous alternative?"
Boy received its world premiere at the Almeida Theatre, London, on 5 April 2016.
Boys With Cars follows Naz, a classically trained Indian dancer, who dreams of getting out of small town Port Moody to attend the University of British Columbia. But when Buddy causes a stir over Naz at school, Naz’s university plans begin to crumble quickly.
In 2007 Ravi Jain completed school and was itching to get his feet wet in the theatre scene. With plans to begin his own company, Ravi put off marriage for a few years, much to the disappointment of his mother, Asha, who was getting impatient with Ravi's non-traditional approach to life. In this autobiographical story of the Jain family, Ravi recalls a trip to India with his parents in tow where they ambushed him with a series of prospective wives at every turn. Conveyed through storytelling, A Brimful of Asha is a comedic and heartwarming tale of a family caught between two cultures.
A deal has been struck between two men in India – 2,100 rupees in exchange for a young village woman named Rekha. Sent to Calcutta without knowing why, Rekha finds herself in the confines of a brothel with Jamuna, a prostitute and madam, who is resigned to her trade. In these conditions, Rekha must shape her destiny and find inner liberty.
What if Blanche Dubois didn't go crazy? Or the Three Sisters actually made it to Moscow? When he discovers he's only a fictitious, never seen character in a Oscar Wilde play, Bunbury joins forces with Rosaline, Romeo's never-seen obsession from Romeo and Juliet. Together they infiltrate and alter classic literature, including giving Romeo and Juliet a happy ending.
An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Jean Gilpin, Kathryn Hahn, Melinda Page Hamilton, Peter Paige, Amanda Rowan, Orlando Seale, Andre Sogliuzzo, John Vickery and Matthew Wolf.
Featuring: Jean Gilpin, Kathryn Hahn, Melinda Page Hamilton, Peter Paige, Amanda Rowan, Orlando Seale, Andre Sogliuzzo, John Vickery, Matthew Wolf
Burning Monkey relates the story of a teenage couple and their interactions with an older war veteran, trying to rebuild his fractured relationship with his daughter. While their exchanges initially show a hostile and unsympathetic clash of generations, it soon becomes apparent that they share similar pain – based on their damaged family relationships, and absent parents/children – and they begin to feel empathy for one another’s plight.
In the background, the presence of war looms; the character of Old is haunted by memories of his time as a soldier and the character of Monkey looks forward to a time when he can escape the depressing realities of his life and join the army. In the midst of this, Shell is fifteen, madly in love with Monkey, and pregnant with his child. Her attempts to try and make the irresponsible, immature Monkey stay with her become increasingly desperate.
Burning Monkey is a play that raises important issues for teenagers, addressing themes such as war, violence, separated families and responsibility. It is available both in English- and Welsh-language versions, the latter titled as Mwnci ar dân.
From the shore of Ko Phi Phi in Thailand to a suburb in Utah to a mysterious Kafkaesque hole in the ground, carried away on the crest of a wave gives us brief glimpses into the lives of a sphinx-like escort, a grieving father, a conflicted priest, brothers of legend, a felonious housewife, an accountant of time, an orphaned boy, a radio shock jock and a man who finds things. Each are connected, primarily, by the cataclysmic 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed the lives of over a quarter million people. In a series of vignettes, carried away on the crest of a wave illustrates the ripple effect of one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history and ponders what happens when the events that bind us together are the same events that tear us apart.
Dianne is a printmaker who derives her imagery from pre-history – Neanderthal teeth, the Jericho skulls, old bones. Too many people close to her have passed away and her only son has rebelled by embracing a life of religious fundamentalism. The Cave Painter is a funny, moving one-woman show about being an artist and dealing with loss.
A restaurant. Two curved banquettes. It's a celebration. Violent, wildly funny, Harold Pinter's play displays a vivid zest for life.
Celebration premiered at the Almeida Theatre, London, in March 2000.
Chair is the third play in Edward Bond's The Chair Plays trilogy. In it, Alice is looking after Billy, a young man she took in to her home – illegally – when he was a baby.
One day, when she witnesses a soldier escorting an old woman, someone Alice believes she knows, to prison, she offers a kindness: the soldier has been waiting with his prisoner for over three hours; Alice offers him chair to sit on. This basic, human gesture explodes the secure and private world that Alice had built to protect herself and Billy.
In his introduction, Edward Bond writes: 'Billy cannot be Alice's son but she must be the prisoner's daughter. This is because in the first play the image of the dress confronts the present with the past that all people share in common. When this confrontation is repeated in Chair it is not shared; it is absolutely restricted to one person and the present . . . Saved ends in a gesture of optimism in the mending of the chair. It is not grandiose to call that an act of immanent transcendence because the chair bears human wounds. Since the play was written our situation – the third crisis – has worsened. The chair in The Chair Plays is the sign of that crisis.'
Chair was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 7 April 2000. Its first staged production was seen at the Avignon Festival in July 2006.
Chef tells the gripping story of how one woman went from being a haute-cuisine head chef to a convicted inmate running a prison kitchen. Leading us through her world of mouth-watering dishes and heart-breaking memories, Chef questions our attitudes to food, prisoners, violence, love and hope. Inspired by an interview the playwright, Sabrina Mahfouz, conducted with celebrity chef Ollie Dabbous, Chef studies food as the ultimate art form taking stimulus from Dabbous’s obsession with simplicity and making something the best it can be.
Featuring Sabrina Mahfouz’s distinct, lyrical style in abundance, Chef received its premiere at the Underbelly, Cowgate, during the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, winning a Fringe First, and was subsequently produced at the Soho Theatre, London, in June 2015.
A disturbed mother sends her son, Joe, to burn down a house in an adjacent estate. Manipulating him until he agrees, she abandons him to his fate once he has completed this task. Worse still, the house was not as empty as he thought when he set it alight.
Fleeing from the law, his friends join him on a journey though an increasingly barren and often violent landscape. Despite the difficulty of their situation and the continuing fragmentation of their community, they nonetheless find the spirit and energy to be compassionate to others – particularly a tramp who cannot walk. But the question remains; how will this compassion be rewarded?
The Children was first presented by Classworks Theatre on 11 February 2000 at Manor Community College, Cambridge. The parts of the children were played by pupils from the college. It went on to tour to seventeen venues; in each new venue a different cast of young people played, with only the actors playing Mum and Man remaining constant throughout the tour.
Maxim Gorky's play Children of the Sun is a Chekhovian family drama, written while its author was briefly imprisoned in Saint Petersburg's Peter and Paul Fortress during the abortive Russian Revolution of 1905. It was initially banned, but the imperial authorities allowed it to premiere on 24 October 1905 at the Moscow Art Theatre.
This translation by Stephen Mulrine was published by Nick Hern Books in its Drama Classics series in 2000.
The play's title refers to Russia's privileged intelligentsia, epitomised by Protasov, who is high-minded and idealistic but out of touch with the reality of life, especially for the working classes. The play is set during one of the cholera epidemics of the previous century, but was universally understood to relate to contemporary events, and has come to be seen as a prophetic echo of the coming revolution.
A tree lot. Christmas Eve. One man. One woman. One tree. Who should get it? Each gives reasons through tales of woe as to why they are more deserving of the tree, and each seems unmoved by the other's predicament. A story filled with laughs, heartache, and good old-fashioned Christmas spirit.
Zainab, Chloe & Katya, London’s best ‘clean’ criminals and perpetrators of victimless crime, are forced together in an unlikely trio. This feisty trio soon become the unlikely action heroes of an adventure left to men. A short play commissioned by the Traverse Theatre, 2012, Clean was part of the A Play, A Pie & A Pint Season at Òran Mor, Glasgow and The Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh.
Sabrina Mahfouz’s Clean was originally published in a volume of three plays called The Clean Collection, alongside Dry Ice and One Hour Only . The volume also contained a selection of poetry by the playwright.
‘WHO ARE YOU?’ Monsieur Pierre (the immigration official) poses his usual question, but Heinrich’s unusual answer sets in motion a metaphysical roller coaster. Why would a simple statement of name and profession bring so much attention to an unassuming clockmaker? Maybe because that’s two more things than anyone else in this place remembers . . . ? Soon, Heinrich is reminding his new friend Frieda of memories she’s forgotten and even summoning up a few of his own – of forbidden love, and crimes he may or may not have committed. Is it possible to be guilty of being about to commit a crime, as Monsieur Pierre suspects? And why wouldn’t one recall something so significant as premeditating murder? Armed with a newfound-yet-familiar love for each other, Heinrich and Frieda set about solving this Kafkaesque puzzle. Winner of the Betty Mitchell Award for Best New Play (2009) and named best Canadian play of the 2010-2011 season at the inaugural Toronto Theatre Critics’ Awards.
Collaboration and Taking Sides are companion pieces by Ronald Harwood. Taking Sides premiered at the Minerva Theatre, Chichester in 1995; Collaboration premiered at the same theatre in July 2008, when the two plays were staged in repertory.
In 1931, composer Richard Strauss and writer Stephan Zweig embark on an invigorating artistic partnership. But Zweig is a Jew and the Nazis are on the march. Is it possible to keep artistic aspiration and political action separate? How fine is the line between collaboration and betrayal?