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Peepolykus bring their exhilarating combination of verbal slapstick, visual surprise and anarchic comedy to Gustave Flaubert's seminal nineteenth-century masterpiece Madame Bovary. Laugh and cry in equal measure as Emma Bovary chooses the wrong husband. Lose yourself in mesmeric love scenes featuring a procession of devastatingly attractive men. Rail at the fate of women in a patriarchal society, if you will. Prepare yourself for vermin, moustaches, wild animals, lots of French people and a nun. Written for a bijou cast of four playing multiple roles, The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary was a co-production between Peepolykus, Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse, the Nuffield in Southampton, Bristol Old Vic and the Royal & Derngate in Northampton. It premiered at the Everyman in Liverpool in 2016 before touring to all those other places too. Like their tremendously popular Hound of the Baskervilles, Peepolykus's Bovary offers abundant opportunities for comedy and slapstick - plus some massive tragedy - to any theatre company or drama group looking for a loving derailment of a classic novel.
In the summer of 1939 in a small Moscow theatre a company of actors begins rehearsals of a new play to commemorate Stalin's sixtieth birthday. It is a tough gig, because for Soviet artists working towards the Radiant Future the old showbiz maxim 'the show must go on' is an order you can't refuse. Another opening, another show trial Realism is a comedy of nerves, a backstage farce set in a pressure cooker. It is about the spirit that makes art live and the forces that want to crush it. (It includes 2 acts, 6 male, 2 female).
Aristophanes is the only surviving representative of Greek Old Comedy, the exuberant, satirical form of festival drama which flourished during the heyday of classical Athenian culture in the fifth century BC. His plays are characterized by extraordinary combinations of fantasy and satire, sophistication and vulgarity, formality and freedom. Birds is an escapist fantasy in which two dissatisfied Athenians, in defiance of men and gods, bring about a city of birds, the eponymous Cloudcuckooland. In Lysistrata the heroine of the play organizes a sex-strike and the wives of Athens occupy the Akropolis in an attempt to restore peace to the city. The main source of comedy in the Assembly-Women is a similar usurpation of male power as the women attempt to reform Athenian society along utopian-communist lines. Finally, Wealth is Aristophanes' last surviving comedy, in which Ploutos, the god of wealth is cured of his blindness and the remarkable social consequences of his new discrimination are exemplified. This is the first complete verse translation of Aristophanes' comedies to appear for more than twenty-five years and makes freshly available one of the most remarkable comic playwrights in the entire Western tradition, complete with an illuminating introduction including play by play analysis and detailed notes. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Alcestis * Heracles * Children of Heracles * Cyclops Euripides wrote about timeless themes, of friendship and enmity, hope and despair, duty and betrayal. The first three plays in this volume are filled with violence or its threat, while the fourth, Cyclops, is our only surviving example of a genuine satyr play, with all the crude and slapstick humour that characterized the genre. There is death in Alcestis, which explores the marital relationship of Alcestis and Admetus with pathos and grim humour, but whose status as tragedy is subverted by a happy ending. The blood-soaked Heracles portrays deep emotional pain and undeserved suffering; its demand for a more humanistic ethics in the face of divine indifference and callousness makes it one of Euripides' more popular and profound plays. Children of Heracles is a rich and complex work, famous for its dialogues and monologues, in which the effects of war on refugees and the consequences of sheltering them are movingly explored. In Cyclops Euripides takes the familiar story of Odysseus' escape from the Cyclops Polyphemus and turns it to hilarious comic effect. Euripides' other plays are all available in Oxford World's Classics. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Aristophanes is the only surviving representative of Greek Old Comedy, an exuberant form of festival drama which flourished in Athens during the fifth century BC. One of the most original playwrights in the entire Western tradition, his comedies are remarkable for their brilliant combination of fantasy and satire, their constantly inventive manipulation of language, and their use of absurd characters and plots to expose his society's institutions and values to the bracing challenge of laughter. This vibrant collection of verse translations of Aristophanes' works combines historical accuracy with a sensitive attempt to capture the rich dramatic and literary qualities of Aristophanic comedy. The volume presents Clouds, with its famous caricature of the philosopher Socrates; Women at the Thesmophoria (or Thesmophoriazusae), a work which mixes elaborate parody of tragedy with a great deal of transvestite burlesque; and Frogs, in which the dead tragedians Aeschylus and Euripides engage in a vituperative contest of 'literary criticism' of each other's plays. Featuring expansive introductions to each play and detailed explanatory notes, the volume also includes an illuminating appendix, which provides information and selected fragments from the lost plays of Aristophanes.
The spiritual rebellion of Stephen Dedalus and his restless search for self-expression is brought to life in a thrilling theatrical adaptation by Arthur Riordan. Based upon James Joyce's novel of the same name, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a reworking of the classic coming-of-age story. Charting Stephen's transformation into a man, we follow him through the major milestones and stumbling blocks of his life: his school days, his first romance, his loss of faith and finally to his initiation into the world of writing. In Arthur Riordan's witty and poignant adaptation of 'Joyce's manifesto', A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man challenges perceptions of family, homeland, and the Catholic Church. This edition of the adaptation was published to coincide with Rough Magic's world premiere of the production at the Dublin Theatre Festival in autumn 2018.
Australia 1789. A young married lieutenant is directing rehearsals of the first play ever to be staged in that country. With only two copies of the text, a cast of convicts, and one leading lady who may be about to be hanged, conditions are hardly ideal..."Wertenbaker has searched history and found in it a humanistic lesson for hard modern times: rough, sombre, undogmatic and warm" (Sunday Times); "Highly theatrical, often funny and at times dark and disturbing, it sets an infant civilization on the stage with clarity, economy and insight" (Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph)
This version of A Government Inspector is a Yorkshire take on Gogol's 1836 fantastical Russian satire. The setting is here transposed to a small northern town in the twenty-first century. Deborah McAndrew's version of A Government Inspector goes beyond literal translation, but is absolutely faithful to Gogol's stated intention to peel away the surface layers of ordinary people and expose the corruption beneath. It's exuberant, brilliantly witty and original, and audiences will revel in the references to government officials' expenses claims and women's beach volley ball...Northern Broadsides, one of the country's finest and best-loved touring theatre companies, breathes life and vigour into this nearly 200-year-old story.Absurdly funny, clever and strangely familiar, this feels to be the next One Man Two Guvnors. The production premieres at Harrogate Theatre from 7 - 22 September before embarking on an English national tour until December 1st.
This third richly varied collection of plays by Marina Carr was published to coincide with the Royal Shakespeare Company's premiere of Hecuba at the Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, in September 2015. Sixteen Possible Glimpses imagines sixteen fleeting moments in Anton Chekhov's short life and work. Phaedra Backwards retells the Phaedra myth to discover what shaped her. The Map of Argentina offers a meditation on love and what happens when it is denied, or pursued and hunted down. Hecuba was written in reaction to the bad press this Trojan queen receives, and reimagines how she may have suffered and reacted. Indigo is a dark and passionate romance amongst fairies, demons, ghouls and every sort of fantastic creature out of folklore and myth.
Three powerful political plays in one volume with a substantial introduction by Ariel Dorman. In Death and the Maiden, a woman seeks revenge when the man she believes to have been her torturer happens to re enter her life. A classic of 20th century theatre, the play ran for a year in the West End, was a hit on Broadway and was filmed by Roman Polanski. In Reader, first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in July 1995, a censor discovers that the subversive novel he is about to ban is describing his own life and hinting that a terrible fate awaits his son. He must hunt down the author before it comes true... Widows is a smouldering political allegory about a political protest in a country ruled by a military junta, written in collaboration with Tony Kushner, author of Angels in America. It was first staged by the Traverse Theatre Company at the Cambridge Arts Theatre in March 1997. 'A terrifying moral thriller which combines brilliant theatricality with clear thought and fierce compassion' - Sunday Times on 'Death and the Maiden' 'A veritable hall of mirrors: a mixture of Kafka and Pirandello... a work of obvious integrity and passion' - Guardian on 'Reader' 'A remarkable attempt to dramatise in a semi mythical way the consequences of recent appalling abuses of human rights' - Independent on Sunday on 'Widows'
This edition brings together Jonson's four great comedies in one volume. Volpone, which was first performed in 1606, dramatizes the corrupting nature of greed in an exuberant satire set in contemporary Venice. The first production of Epicene marked the end of a year long closure of the theatres because of an epidemic of the plague in 1609; its comedy affirms the consolatory power of laughter at such a time. The Alchemist (1610) deploys the metaphors of alchemical transformation to emphasize the mutability of the characters and their relationships. In Bartholomew Fair (1614) Jonson embroils the visitors to the fair in its myriad tempations, exposing the materialistic impulses beneath the apparent godliness of Jacobean Puritans. Under the General Editorship of Michael Cordner of the University of York the texts of the plays have been newly edited and are presented with modernized spelling and punctuation. Stage directions hvae been added to facilitate the reconstruction of the plays' performance, and there is a scholarly introduction, detailed annotation, and a glossary. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This was the first time I felt as involved in film as in working in
theatre. My immersion in Parade's End from the writing to the
finishing touches took up the time I might have given to writing my
own play but, perhaps to an unwarranted degree, I think of this
Parade's End as mine, such was the illusion of proprietorship over
Ford's characters and story.
With her finger as always on the pulse of our deepest concerns, in "A Number", Caryl Churchill turns her extraordinary dramatic gifts to the subject of human cloning - how might a son feel to discover that he is only one of a number of identical copies. And how would the father feel confronted by these reproachful clones ...? First staged in 2002 to huge acclaim at the Royal Court Theatre, London, with Michael Gambon as the father and Daniel Craig as the sons, "A Number" is revived at Sheffield in October 2006 with real-life father and son, Timothy and Samuel West, playing the leads.
With an Introduction and Notes by Anne Varty, Royal Holloway, University of London. Oscar Wilde took London by storm with his first comedy, Lady Windermere's Fan. The combination of dazzling wit, subtle social criticism, sumptuous settings and the theme of a guilty secret proved a winner, both here and in his next three plays, A Woman of No Importance, An Ideal Husband, and his undisputed masterpiece, The Importance of Being Earnest. This volume includes all Wilde's plays from his early tragedy Vera to the controversial Salome and the little known fragments, La Sainte Courtisane and A Florentine Tragedy. The edition affords a rare chance to see Wilde's best known work in the context of his entire dramatic output, and to appreciate plays which have hitherto received scant critical attention. Wilde's plays have never failed to delight audiences and are a lasting testimony to their author's supreme wit and theatrical genius.
On October 7, 1998, a young gay man was discovered bound to a fence
outside Laramie, Wyoming, savagely beaten and left to die in an act
of brutality and hate that shocked the nation. Matthew Shepard's
death became a national symbol of intolerance, but for the people
of the town, the event was deeply personal. In the aftermath,
Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project went to
Laramie and conducted more than 200 interviews with its citizens.
From the transcripts, the playwrights constructed an extraordinary
chronicle of life in the town after the murder. Since its premiere,
"The Laramie Project" has become a modern classic and one of the
most-performed theater pieces in America.
A Liverpudlian West Side Story: twin brothers are separated at
birth because their mother cannot afford to keep them both. She
gives one of them away to wealthy Mrs Lyons and they grow up as
friends in ignorance of their fraternity until the inevitable
quarrel unleashes a blood-bath.
'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
One of the longest-running and most successful ever West End musicals, "Blood Brothers" premiered at the Liverpool Playhouse in January 1983.
In this essential collection of Andrei Platonov's plays, the noted Platonov translator Robert Chandler edits and introduces The Hurdy-Gurdy (translated by Susan Larsen), Fourteen Little Red Huts (translated by Chandler), and Grandmother's Little Hut (translated by Jesse Irwin). Written in 1930 and 1933, respectively, The Hurdy-Gurdy and Fourteen Little Red Huts constitute an impassioned and penetrating response to Stalin's assault on the Soviet peasantry. They reflect the political urgency of Bertolt Brecht and anticipate the tragic farce of Samuel Beckett but play out through dialogue and characterization that is unmistakably Russian. This volume also includes Grandmother's Little Hut, an unfinished play that represents Platonov's later, gentler work.
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