Caryl Churchill's Far Away is a play that looks at conflict and its unsettling effect on our lives, and on our humanity. It was first performed at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, London, on 24 November 2000.
The play is in three short parts. In the first, a young girl called Joan can't sleep; she tells her aunt Harper that she has seen her uncle hitting people with an iron bar. In the second part, several years later, Joan has become a hat maker; she has a developing friendship with another hat maker, Todd. Towards the end of this section there is a procession of prisoners wearing hats, on their way to their execution. In the final section, several years later again, Joan and Todd are taking refuge at Harper's house, and the whole world – including birds, animals and insects – now appears to be at war.
The Royal Court premiere was directed by Stephen Daldry and designed by Ian MacNeil, with Annabelle Seymour-Julen as Young Joan, Linda Bassett as Harper, Kevin McKidd as Todd and Katherine Tozer as Older Joan.
The production transferred to the Albery Theatre in the West End, with performances from 18 January 2001.
The play received its American premiere at New York Theatre Workshop in November 2002 in a production directed by Stephen Daldry, performed by Alexa Eisenstein, Marin Ireland, Frances McDormand, Chris Messina and Gina Rose.