Includes the plays Venus Observed, The Dark is Light Enough and Curtmantle This volume of Christopher Fry's original stage work concludes his 'Season Plays' with Venus Observed ('Autumn') and The Dark is Light Enough ('Winter'). In the first of these, commissioned by Laurence Olivier, a confident but ageing duke asks his grown-up son to choose a new wife for him. Written with a superbly light touch, this is a surprisingly reflective play about love, power and forgiveness. The Dark is Light Enough, set during Hungary's revolt against Austria in the 1850s, concerns an imperious, inscrutable aristocrat who seems prepared to sacrifice family and household for the sake of her daughter's scapegrace ex-husband. Also included is Fry's biographical play about King Henry II, Curtmantle. Working with the 'epic' theatrical style of the time and utilising a new, leaner verse language, Fry captures Henry's energy, quick wit and quick temper, his relationship with Thomas Becket - Chancellor and friend, Archbishop and enemy - and his ultimately tragic struggles with his four ambitious sons
The second volume in this series brings together some of the best new writing from contemporary American playwrights, each play introduced by critically acclaimed writers themselves. The volume includes: The Edge of Our Bodies by Adam Rapp, introduced by AM Homes The Coward by Nick Jones, introduced by Marsha Norman The Book of Grace by Suzan-Lori Parks, introduced by Oskar Eustis What Once We Felt by Ann Marie Healy, introduced by Paula Vogel
She and He are the pseudonyms of a real-life couple who live in separate houses in the same city on the west coast of America. She is 88. He is 93. For 30 years he has provided her with a home and an income, while she provides ‘mistress services’ – ‘All sexual acts as requested, with suspension of historical, emotional, psychological disclaimers.’ They first met at university and then lost touch. When they met again twenty years later, they began an affair when She – a highly educated, intelligent woman with a history of involvement in the feminist movement – asked her wealthy lover to sign the remarkable document that outlines their unconventional lifestyle: The Mistress Contract. Was her suggestion a betrayal of all that she and the women of her generation had fought for? Or was it brave, honest, and radical? Then — on a small recorder that fit in her purse — this extraordinary couple began to tape their conversations about their relationship, conversations that took place while travelling, over dinner at home and in restaurants, on the phone, even in bed. Based on reams of tape recordings made over their 30 year relationship, The Mistress Contract is a remarkable document of this unconventional couple, and the contract that kept them bound together to this day.
Includes the plays The Lady's Not for Burning, A Yard of Sun andSiege In this volume of Christopher Fry's original stage work, his most famous play The Lady's Not for Burning - 'Spring' in his set of 'Seasonal Plays' - is joined by the 'Summer' play A Yard of Sun, written in the mid-1930's. Celebrated for the sensuousness and joyous wit of its language, The Lady's Not for Burning is a key play in the revival of verse drama in the 1940's, and the scale of its success made Fry one of the most famous playwrights of his day. A Yard of Sun, Fry's last full-length stage play, is set in Siena just after the end of World War Two. Without ignoring the struggles and privations of war, the play is funny, touching and ultimately optimistic. Based on the medieval story of Aucassin and Nicolette and conceived as a form of 'pageant', Siege with its mixing of verse and prose, sprawling structure, employment of different speech patterns and deliberately contemporary touches, gives a unique insight into Fry's development as a stage-craftsman.
Modern Voice: Working with Actors on Contemporary Text has been designed to follow on from Catherine’s previous book, Classic Voice: Working with Actors on Vocal Style, focusing on the less defined demands within contemporary drama. Lifting contemporary speech rhythms off the page can be a challenge for actors. Sometimes these rhythms are realistic, resembling or mirroring the speech patterns of real human beings, sometimes they are non-realistic, distorting speech patterns for particular effect. Modern Voice not only provides an accessible approach for understanding speech rhythm but also presents an overview of different types and styles of contemporary text (including the rise of dramatic realism in England, America and Australia). Along the way there are a myriad of practical ideas for directors, lecturers, teachers, trainers and coaches to explore in their workshops and rehearsals.
Emphasizing a performative and stage-centered approach, this book considers early modern European theater as an international phenomenon. Early modern theater was remarkable both in the ways that it represented material and symbolic exchanges across borders but also in the ways that it enacted them. In analyzing theater as a medium of dialogic communication, the volume emphasizes cultural relationships of exchange and reciprocity more than unilateral encounters of hegemony and domination.
Includes the plays The Firstborn, A Phoenix Too Frequent,, A Sleep of Prisoners, Thor, With Angels, The Boy With a Cart, Caedmon Construed and A Ringing of Bells The third volume of Christopher Fry's original stage work brings together his only fully-fledged tragedy - The Firstborn, a vivid, urgent retelling of the Biblical story of Moses and the plagues of Egypt - and his six one-act plays, each revealing Fry's unique blend of humour and humanity. They include A Phoenix Too Frequent,, a lively romance set in a Roman tomb, which first gave theatregoers notice of Fry's bravura talents as a verse dramatist; the meditative, resonant A Sleep of Prisoners, which links the Biblically-inspired dreams of four British POWs during World War Two; the Dark Age fable Thor, with Angels, with its characteristic themes of love and sacrifice; and two portraits of Anglo-Saxon churchmen, The Boy with a Cart and Caedmon Construed (also known as One Thing More), written fifty years apart. The collection concludes with Fry’s brief ‘conversational fantasy’ A Ringing of Bells, set on the eve of the millennium and written for his old school, Bedford Modern.