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The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights is an authoritative guide to the work of twenty-five playwrights who have risen to prominence since the 1980s. Written by an international team of scholars, it will be invaluable to anyone interested in, studying or teaching contemporary drama. Among the many playwrights whose work is examined are Sarah Daniels, Terry Johnson, Martin Crimp, Sarah Kane, Anthony Neilson, Mark Ravenhill, Simon Stephens, Debbie Tucker Green, Tanika Gupta and Richard Bean. Each essay features: A biographical sketch and introduction to the playwright A discussion of their most important plays An analysis of their stylistic and thematic traits, the critical reception and their place in the discourses of British theatre A bibliography of texts and critical material
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 experiencing a series of flashbacks. Trapped within his own head, the audience are taken with him through a whistlestop tour of his life: a series of vivid, often painful episodes from childhood tragedy to 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.
DC Moore's Northampton-based play Town is coupled with his hard-hitting, hilarious monologue Honest.
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.
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.
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.
This scathing satire and parable transposes the rise of Hitler to gangland Chicago and continues to have relevance wherever totalitarianism appears today.

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