Two elderly gentlemen stroll on to an almost bare terrace. They discuss various subjects - the past, schooldays, climate, the sea, moustaches, the war, families, etc., etc. It is not until the following scene when we meet two women that we realize we are actually in the grounds of a mental hospital, and that these people are patients. Although with no plot at all in the conventional sense and sparse dialogue, by the end of the afternoon we have been moved to compassion and respect.
The play plunges us into an amateur operatic society production of The Beggar's Opera. The result is a magnificent comedy--symmetrically shaped, psychologically acute and painfully, heartbreakingly funny.
Written between 1982 and 1983 it consists of eight major stories all originating from a single opening scene. As the play progresses, the characters make choices each of which causes the story to go in one of two directions, leading to one of 16 possible endings. The play was nominated for the 1984 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, and a 2006 revival was nominated for the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play on its transfer to the Brits Off Broadway festival in New York.
Contains two plays for television about the vicissitudes of public schools, together with a 20,000 word introduction by the author, who has also written Brazzaville Beach, A Good Man in Africa, An Ice-Cream War, Stars and Bars, The New Confessions and On the Yankee Station.
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare between 1590 and 1597. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (the mechanicals) who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.
"Madmen and Specialists" is a play by Wole Soyinka, conceived in 1970 during his imprisonment in the Nigerian Civil War. The play, Soyinka's eighth, has close links to the Theatre of the Absurd. Abiola Irele (in the Lagos Sunday Times) called it "a nightmarish image of our collective life as it appears to a detached and reflective consciousness". "Madmen and Specialists" is considered Soyinka's most pessimistic play, dealing with "man's inhumanity and pervasive corruption in structures of power". The plot concerns Dr. Bero, a corrupt specialist, who imprisons and torments his physician father.
Battling through their self-made entrapment for the sake of the kids, Mr. and Mrs. Elliot soon begin to destroy each other through an ugly routine of rows, affairs, and suicidal blackmail. Written with controlled irony as well as compassion for its tormented characters, Ted Whitehead’s unflinching play asks questions about the choices we make to fit in with social conventions.
A Patriot for Me shows how a young, able and ambitious officer of the Imperial and Royal Army of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was, through his homesexuality, blackmailed into becoming a spy for Tsarist Russia. When John Osborne wrote A Patriot for Me it was not licensed for public performance by the Lord Chamberlain. In July 1965 the Royal Court Theatre, London, had to be converted into a club for the first production to take place. This volume contains a list of the cuts and alterations requested by the Lord Chamberlain - to which Osborne refused to agree. The play was revived by the Royal Shakespeare Company on the Barbican stage in October 1995.
Arnold Wesker is one of the best writers for our generation. His dialogue flows in a natural way and his stories are full of heart laced with humour. In this edition you get the trilogy of plays: Chicken Soup with Barley; Roots; I'm Talking About Jerusalem. It is a Jewish family saga which stays in your mind long after you have read it. Also, some of the monologues are good heartfelt speeches that do well in auditions.
Shakespeare is usually set apart from his contemporaries, in kind no less than quality. This book sees Elizabethan drama as drawn together by a shared need to deal with contradictory pressures from heterogeneous audiences, censorious authorities, profit driven managers, and authors looking for classic status and social esteem. The power of poetry gives these contradictory purposes an intensity and scope that speaks directly to our own motives, aspirations, and evasions. But this connection must be shallow if we do not face the strangeness as well as the accessibility of this repertory. Starting from texts rather than systems, experience rather than explanation, Hunter argues that only by treating the unfamiliar and even the distasteful with equal seriousness can we allow the familiar in Shakespeare its historical separateness as well as its imaginative intimacy.
A young prince meets with his father's ghost, who alleges that his own brother, now married to his widow, murdered him. The prince devises a scheme to test the truth of the ghost's accusation, feigning wild madness while plotting a brutal revenge. But his apparent insanity soon begins to wreak havoc on innocent and guilty alike. The Classic!
William Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is considered to be one of the greatest tragic love stories of all time. Romeo who is a member of the house of Montague falls in love with Juliet who is a member of the house of Capulet. The Montagues and the Capulets have been engaged in a feud for many years and as such the love between Romeo and Juliet is forbidden. Written near the end of the 16th century, "Romeo and Juliet," which is one of Shakespeare's earliest dramas, is the story of love that can never be realized and the tragedy that ensues.
The three early plays that established Sean O'Casey's reputation are known collectively as the Dublin trilogy because they take as their ostensible subject urban life in Ireland in the early years of the twentieth century. The Shadow of a Gunman, Juno and the Paycock, and The Plough and the Stars were performed at the Abbey Theatre in 1923, 1924, and 1926, respectively. Each play is not only set in the nation's capital, but also explicitly examines Irish urban life during the period of colonization, revolution, and, later, decolonization, charting changes within Irish culture and politics in terms of the impact that these changes make on Irish urban social formations.
A triumphantly patriotic play that also casts a critical eye at war and warriors, this great epic drama depicts a charismatic ruler in a time of national struggle. The young King Henry’s victory over the French despite overwhelming odds creates a spectacle of action, color, and thundering battles. Whether the warrior-king is urging his men “Once more unto the breach, dear friends,” or wooing Katharine of France, Henry is magnificently adapted to the role he must play in England’s greatness. "Henry V" represents the culmination of Shakespeare’s art as a writer of historical drama.
Promised a golden future as ruler of Scotland by three sinister witches, Macbeth murders the king to ensure his ambitions come true. But he soon learns the meaning of terror - killing once, he must kill again and again, and the dead return to haunt him. A story of war, witchcraft and bloodshed, Macbeth also depicts the relationship between husbands and wives, and the risks they are prepared to take to achieve their desires.