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The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera

  • Author: Bertolt Brecht
  • Publisher: Methuen Drama
  • ISBN: 9780413774521
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 131
  • View: 9601
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One of Bertolt Brecht's best-loved and most performed plays, The Threepenny Opera was first staged in 1928 at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, Berlin (now the home of the Berliner Ensemble). Based on the eighteenth-century Beggar's Opera by John Gay, the play is a satire on the bourgeois society of the Weimar Republic, but set in a mock-Victorian Soho. With Kurt Weill's music, which was one of the earliest and most successful attempts to introduce the jazz idiom into the theatre, it became a popular hit throughout the western world. This edition also includes Brecht's own notes on the play.

The Hostage

The Hostage

  • Author: Brendan Behan
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1474225845
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 128
  • View: 6921
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An essential text in the development of modern British drama First staged by Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop company at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, London, in 1958, The Hostage is a play about a Cockney soldier held as a hostage in a Dublin lodging house in exchange for an IRA man who is to be hanged in Belfast. Civic Guards accidentally shoot him in a raid on the house. It is a witty and often profound comment on Anglo-Irish relationships and on the Irish themselves. This is Behan's best-known and most popular play and a classic of the modern stage.A magnificent entertainment which "crowds in tragedy and comedy, bitterness and love, caricature and portrayal, ribaldry and eloquence, patriotism and cynicism..." (Harold Hobson, The Times)

Loot

Loot

  • Author: Joe Orton
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1472537998
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 96
  • View: 6589
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A black farce masterpiece, Loot follows the fortunes of two young thieves, Hal and Dennis. Dennis is a hearse driver for an undertaker. They have robbed the bank next door to the funeral parlour and have returned to Hal's home to hide-out with the loot. Hal's mother has just died and the pair put the money in her coffin, hiding the body elsewhere in the house. With the arrival of Inspector Truscott, the thickened plot turns topsy-turvy. Playing with all the conventions of popular farce, Orton creates a world gone mad and examines in detail English attitudes at mid-century. The play has been called a Freudian nightmare, which sports with superstitions about death - and life. It is regularly produced in professional and amateur productions. First produced in London in 1966, LOOT was hailed as "the most genuinely quick-witted, pungent and sprightly entertainment by a new, young British playwright for a decade" (Sunday Telegraph)

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

  • Author: Bertolt Brecht
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408179938
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 88
  • View: 1776
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This scathing satire and parable transposes the rise of Hitler to gangland Chicago and continues to have relevance wherever totalitarianism appears today.

'Ten Plagues' and 'The Coronation of Poppea'

'Ten Plagues' and 'The Coronation of Poppea'

  • Author: Mark Ravenhill
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408160536
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 96
  • View: 7506
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In London Came the plague in sixteen sixty five One hundred thousand dead But I alive. London is infected. The dead fall in the streets. As the plague pits fill, the people of London struggle to maintain a society in the face of overwhelming mortality. Based on eye-witness accounts from 1665 and drawing poetic parallels with modern epidemics, Ten Plagues relates one man's journey through a city in crisis. Told entirely through a series of songs, Ten Plagues explores humanity's struggle with sickness and death and celebrates our capacity for survival. This volume also contains The Coronation of Poppea, a new version of Monteverdi's opera depicting the triumphant adultery between Poppea and Roman Emperor Nero. Tackling this tale of epic lives, Ravenhill updates Tacitus' scathing portrayal of decadence and imperial degeneracy with language which is contemporary, spare and brutally powerful. Taking opera librettos as a foundation, this volume presents two texts for modern music theatre by the seminally controversial playwright Mark Ravenhill. Mark Ravenhill's introduction to the volume explains the inspiration and writing process behind the two pieces.

Mercury Fur

Mercury Fur

  • Author: Philip Ridley
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408141523
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 132
  • View: 5114
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Challenging new play by the enfant terrible of dark, disturbing drama Elliot is panicking. The party that he and his brother Darren have been planning has been brought forward - to tonight. In a lawless, ravaged city, where memories of the past have been brutally erased, the boys and their team survive by realising their clients' darkest fantasies. But just how far are they prepared to go in trading humanity for information? As the light fades and events spiral out of control it becomes clear that on the success of the evening hangs not just their security, but their existence. The world is at its worst...let the party begin. Mercury Fur is a challenging new work containing some explicit scenes that may cause offence. Published to tie-in with the play's premier at the Drum Theatre, Plymouth and The Chololate Factory, London in February 2005, produced by Paines Plough. "Philip Ridley is a singular writer, a prolific polymath, probably a genius, and the creator of some of the most peculiar, grotesque and compelling British plays (and films) of the last several years" Time Out

Piranha Heights

Piranha Heights

  • Author: Philip Ridley
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1472538285
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 96
  • View: 5339
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Philip Ridley's latest play for Soho Theatre brings his unique blend of story-telling mixed with an apocalyptic vision of a society at conflict with itself to the stage. 'Look - they're fading. Those liars. Dissolving . . . It's the end of their world . . . The birth of a new one . . . Our one . . . Our world.' It's Mother's Day and mother is dead. Now her two sons gather in her home to argue about the truth of their childhood. But a storm is approaching . . . with a violent new truth all of its own. This programme playtext is published to tie in with the premiere at Soho Theatre, London, on 15 May 2008. Praise for Leaves of Glass: 'Like a shard of glass plunged straight to the heart . . . superb.' Guardian

Freefall

Freefall

  • Author: Michael West
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1408135612
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 96
  • View: 6430
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There are things I haven't said. Things I want to say again. I need to think. I need more time. A sudden shock, and a man's life flashes before his eyes. He experiences an intense rush of extraordinary images and tangled memories, revelations and lost connections. People time and places swirl around him. As he valiantly attempts to stitch it all back together, will his luck hold out? The play's conceit follows a man who has suffered a stroke and then experiences a series of flashbacks. Trapped within his own head, the audience are taken with him through a whistlestop tour of his life and a series of vivid, often painful episodes from a childhood tragedy to a crumbling marriage.  In a beguiling portrait of mortality and humanity, Freefall explores memory, family and loss. From the author of Dublin by Lamplight and Foley, Freefall reunites award-winning Irish playwright Michael West with The Corn Exchange: Dublin's innovative theatre company who explore the boundaries and possibilities of theatre with their trademark style of Commedia dell'Arte. Freefall is a sharp, humorous and exhilarating look at the fragility of a human life, blending impressionistic beauty, poignancy and comedy.Â

Polar Bears

Polar Bears

  • Author: Mark Haddon
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 140813084X
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 79
  • View: 4943
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In Polar Bears, award-winning writer Mark Haddon balances humour and pathos to tell of one man's struggle to love, support and live with someone suffering from a psychological condition.

A History of Falling Things

A History of Falling Things

  • Author: James Graham
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1408146371
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 64
  • View: 6042
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'Oh, you do look...really good, though. You know. In the face. Oh and, uh, I love you.' Prisoners of their fear of falling things - keraunothetophobiacs - Jacqui and Robin are restricted to living indoors. When they meet online a relationship begins which forces them to confront their fear and discover what's real in their lives and what really matters. A History of Falling Things, a new play by the acclaimed young playwright James Graham, is a gentle love story that is fearful, funny and moving. The play premiered at Clwyd Theatr Cymru, Wales, in April 2009 before transferring to the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.

Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch

  • Author: Roy Williams
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408131366
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 86
  • View: 5131
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Roy Williams' Sucker Punch looks back on what it was like to be young and Black in the 80s and asks if the right battles have been fought, let alone won.

Moonfleece

Moonfleece

  • Author: Philip Ridley
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408130556
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 112
  • View: 7573
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Moonfleece is an intense and thrilling exploration of memory and identity, and is the most directly political play to date by leading playwright Philip Ridley. Set in an abandoned council flat, Moonfleece centres on a young, right-wing activist forced to reassess his personal and political beliefs.

Mongrel Island

Mongrel Island

  • Author: Ed Harris
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1408160757
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 96
  • View: 6843
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Marie is losing herself in her grey office existence, trapped by endless piles of paperwork and the same people saying the same things every single day. But as she is forced to work later and later into the night, she discovers a deeply strange twilight world where a new possibility for rescuing her sanity is illuminated by the fluorescent office lights. Commissioned by Soho Theatre and written by up-and-coming writer Ed Harris, Mongrel Island explores the mind and memory, offering a perspective of how the workplace can strip away our humanity. Combining madcap, surreal humour with an indictment of the corporate world's subjugation of individualism, Mongrel Island is a bittersweet, touching and darkly humourous play.

'Town' and 'Honest'

'Town' and 'Honest'

  • Author: DC Moore
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1408135310
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 144
  • View: 7676
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"So here I am, homeless at home and half-gratified to feel that I can be happy anywhere" John Clare Inspired by the four-day journey made on foot by the legendary mad poet, John Clare, Town creates a new story set in contemporary Northampton. On John's return to Northampton from the bright lights of London, he finds his hometown is exactly the same as when he left it - from the rooms at his parent's house, to the Saturday nights on Abington Street. In fact, the only thing that seems to have changed... is John. Slipping back into his old habits, old jobs and old relationships, an out of work and disillusioned John considers why he swapped the anonymity of corporate city life for the comforts of home and embarked upon a sixty mile walk North. Northampton writer DC Moore's Town poignantly explores enduring themes of identity, isolation and belonging, rooting them in modern life. With heartbreaking honesty and humour, the play probes the feelings that we all have about our hometown, and follows one man on his road to get back to where he started. This edition also includes the darkly comic monologue Honest, where one man's addiction for telling the truth leads to a night that spirals out of control. Taking you on a journey across London towards a late-night epiphany, the piece explores the lies we tell ourselves and each other, and the fall-out when the truth is revealed.

Festen

Festen

  • Author: David Eldridge
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408153831
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 80
  • View: 6398
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Helge, the patriarch of a chain of restaurants, is celebrating his sixtieth birthday and everyone is coming home from the party including Helge's sons, Christian, Michael and his daughter Helene. Missing from the roster of invitees is Christian's twin sister, Linda, who recently committed suicide. The reason for her action and the repercussions from it, form the basis of the shocking and painful events that transpire during a twenty-four hour period. In the midst of dinner, Christian makes a startling accusation and, even as the disbelieving guests are choosing sides, the play slowly unwraps the truth. David Eldridge powerful new play is adapted from Thomas Vinterborg's screenplay of the very successful film, Dogme. Published to tie in with Almeida Theatre production in March 2004 directed by Rufus Norris

The House of Bernarda Alba: a modern adaptation

The House of Bernarda Alba: a modern adaptation

  • Author: Federico Garcia Lorca
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1408143941
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 96
  • View: 3873
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Following the gangland execution of her husband, the formidable matriarch Bernarda Alba will do anything to safeguard her family's dubious fortune and the future of her five daughters. A deal is struck - a marriage of convenience between her eldest girl and the son of a business rival. All Bernarda has to do is ensure that the wedding happens, and quickly. Five headstrong daughters cooped up in the family home in an emotionally charged atmosphere of bitter rivalry and repressed sexuality make that an epic challenge. One of the most celebrated European dramas of the 20th century, the play was finished by Lorca shortly before he was executed in Spain for his left-wing politics. He described it as a "drama of women in the villages of Spain" - a theme that is electrifyingly transposed in this version to the tough communities of Glasgow's East End. Faithfully preserving Lorca's sense of boiling tension and impending tragedy, this adaptation brings a classic text thrillingly up to date. This text was published to coincide with the world premiere of the adaptation, a production by the National Theatre of Scotland in 2009.

A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky

A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky

  • Author: David Eldridge,Robert Holman,Simon Stephens
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408198657
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 128
  • View: 2003
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On a farm in the North East of England a family gathers. Five brothers and four generations feature in an epic play about hope, love, fear and the very end of time. A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky is a refreshingly subtle and compassionate vision of the world on the edge of apocalypse. Within a cosmological context, the focus is on a single family, their relations with each other and their unreconciled regrets, soon to become permanent. With an ensemble of strong, engaging characters, there are knotty, realistic family dynamics and a palimpsest of recent family history. The characters and dialogue are naturalistic but the serious themes are elucidated and alleviated with humour and quirky, surreal touches. The play represents a unique collboration between three of the UK's pre-eminent stage writers. The ambition of the partnership is matched by the ambition of the play's sweeping scope. Whilst the three voices collide, they also ring out individually without sacrificing the piece's coherent wholeness, and the play represents a rare, fascinating study in stage collaboration.

Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us

Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us

  • Author: Paul Higgins
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
  • ISBN: 1408148188
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 96
  • View: 7965
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Patrick comes home unexpectedly from the seminary and older brother Johnny's not slow to tap him for money. Mum is suspicious, Dad seems indifferent, and pissed, and little sister Cath is distracted and medicated. Nobody Will Ever Forgive Us is the story of a family under siege. Living on their wits and stalked by violence, they defend themselves with the blackest of humour. The play was produced as part of the National Theatre of Scotland/Traverse Theatre's Debuts season and premiered at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh in November 2008. 'A keen sense of theatrical dynamics, vigorous dialogue and ready wit.' Guardian

Blood Brothers

Blood Brothers

  • Author: Willy Russell
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408115360
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 128
  • View: 651
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A Liverpudlian West Side Story, Blood Brothers is the story of twin brothers separated at birth because their mother cannot afford to keep them both. One of them is given away to wealthy Mrs Lyons and they grow up as friends in ignorance of their fraternity until the inevitable quarrel unleashes a blood-bath. This edition also contains a chronology of the playwright's life and work; an introduction giving the background to the play; teaching notes, interviews with the playwright and actors, discussion of the themes and ideas for further work; a glossary of words and phrases, photographs from stage productions. "Willy Russell is less concerned with political tub-thumping than with weaving a close-knit story about the working of fate and destiny...it carries one along with it in almost unreserved enjoyment" Guardian One of the longest-running and most successful ever West End musicals, Blood Brothers premiered at the Liverpool Playhouse in January 1983.

Days of Significance

Days of Significance

  • Author: Roy Williams
  • Publisher: A&C Black
  • ISBN: 1408148153
  • Category: Drama
  • Page: 128
  • View: 3027
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Written in response to Much Ado About Nothing and performed by Dominic Cooke's Pericles and The Winter's Tale Company, Roy Williams' Days of Significance is set in market-town England and the deserts of Iraq. Two young soldiers join their friends to binge drink the night before they leave for active service. Their complex love lives and mortal fears directly impact on their tour of duty. Roy Williams looks at how the naive and malformed moral codes of these young men have catastrophic reverberations for the West's moral authority.