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Honest

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

This darkly comic monologue takes a journey across London towards a late-night epiphany, exploring the lies we tell ourselves and each other and the fallout when the truth is revealed.

Dave works in a non-descript and useless government department, with people who would be bad at their jobs if they knew what it was they were supposed to be doing. One evening, at another bleakly inane office night out fuelled by champagne in plastic cups, Dave’s honesty boils over and he tells his boss exactly what he thinks of him, before setting off into the night, spitting confessions and vomit, searching for redemption.

Moore’s excoriating monologue breaks out of the deadlock of everyday life into a very real, relatable and bitingly comic fury of contemporary desperation.

Honest was first performed in 2010 by Royal & Derngate at the Mailcoach pub in Northampton.

Hot Mess

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Ella Hickson’s Hot Mess is a dark, lyrical play about twins who share a single heart, examining contemporary society's paradoxical need for emotional connection and sex without emotional investment. It was first performed at the Hawke & Hunter Below Stairs Nightclub, Edinburgh, on 6 August 2010, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Twins Polo and Twitch were born with only one heart between them. Twitch was the lucky recipient and therefore cannot stop falling in love. Polo, on the other hand, is literally heartless – a cold and clinical creature who shies away from intimacy of any kind. As they return to the island of their birth for their twenty-fifth birthdays, they meet up with Twitch’s new American boyfriend, Billy, and her feisty best friend, Jacks, for a night on the town and some trips down memory lane.

The premiere production was directed by Ella Hickson with Gwendolen Chatfield as Twitch, Michael Whitham as Polo, Kerri Hall as Jacks and Solomon Mousley as Billy.

The Kaisers of Carnuntum

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The Kaisers of Carnuntum was first performed in the roman amphitheatre at Petronell-Carnuntum, Austria, June 1995.

Karagula

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A doorway to a new future is ready to open. We are the hinge of that moment. We will let the door swing wide.

On a beautiful spring evening – when both moons are full – two teenagers vow eternal love. It is a moment that will have cataclysmic consequences. Not just for them, but for the world on which they live. A world where Prom Night is a matter of life or death, where weapons are grown and trained like pets, and where a chosen few are hearing a voice. A voice that speaks of ... Karagula.

Philip Ridley’s extraordinary, form-shattering Karagula is a play of epic proportions. Written in a fractured timescale, it explores our constant need to find meaning. To believe we’re here for a reason. To have faith in something. Faith in ... anything.

Karagula received its world premiere on 10 June 2016 at a secret London location in one of the largest productions ever staged in the Off-West End.

Katrina

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Katrina uses survivor testimonies and the rich cultural tradition of New Orleans to tell the story of the eponymous hurricane and its immediate aftermath, charting the infamous devastation that will live long in the American psyche.

In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina narrowly missed New Orleans. The resulting storms breached rotting levees and emptied Lake Pontchartrain into the city. Marooned by floodwater that swamped over 80% of their homes, the inhabitants had to wait a week without food or clean water before their own government came to their aid.

Shedding light on some of the more extraordinary and under-reported aspects of the tragedy, the play is an odyssey through a drowned space, a series of encounters with individuals displaced and abandoned within their own city. The plot follows from the death of Virgil, a decadent old New Orleanian, who has been killed by Hurricane Katrina. Trapped by the rising floodwater his partner Beatrice determines to take his body to safety at the City Hall. During her journey she encounters a number of other survivors and hears their stories.

Katrina was first performed in 2009 at The Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf.

The Labourers of Herakles

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The Labourers of Herakles was first performed on an excavated site intended for the New Theatre of the European Cultural Centre of Delphi, Greece, in August 1995.

Mametz

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

‘“For years afterwards the farmers found them – the wasted young, turning up under their plough blades.” So run the blunt, grimly beautiful opening lines of the Welsh poet Owen Sheers’s elegy for the men, 4,000 of them from the 38th (Welsh) Division, who were killed or wounded in the Battle of Mametz Wood in July 1916… Sheers revisits that chapter of carnage in a stirring, sprawling promenade show… He draws on the writings of two survivors in particular. One is the poet David Jones whose fractured, enervated, modernist response to his war-time experiences, In Parenthesis, was hailed as a “work of genius” by TS Eliot. The other key influence is the writer Llewelyn Wyn Griffith… driven to wondering how the sun “could shine on this mad cruelty and on the quiet peace of an upland tarn near Snowdon”... We end up in dark woods and a place of numb desolation, bombarded by words that pierce the heart and vignettes that capture the stomach-churning sacrifice… The finest commemoration of the First World War centenary I’ve seen to-date, this deserves a much longer life.’ Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph

Mametz by Owen Sheers was premiered by National Theatre Wales in June 2014.

North Country

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

It’s three o’clock when the first ambulance arrives. An old Polish man who can’t breathe properly. I see the paramedics try to get him on the stretcher, but he collapses on them. Sudden heart failure. They have to defibrillate right there in reception. The other patients are watching or covering their faces. It doesn’t matter. He dies. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen it. Someone dying.

Plague has hit the world wiping out most of the human population. Three teenagers from Bradford are among the few survivors: Harvinder, Nusrat and Alleyne. Together and separately they struggle to survive, each bringing together their people as they try to remake their world.

But their biggest challenge doesn’t come from starvation, or zombie like cannibals. It comes from within. Game of Thrones meets The Walking Dead. In Bradford.

North Country was published to coincide with the world premiere of the play by Freedom Studios in Bradford, UK.

Poetry or Bust

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Poetry or Bust was first performed at Salts Mill, Saltaire, in September 1993.

The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus (Delphi)

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

The Trackers of Oxyrhyncus had a unique one-performance world premiere in the ancient stadium of Delphi in 1988. During 1989 it was performed at the National Theatre, London, and in unique historical spaces in Saltaire and Carnuntum. In it Tony Harrison remakes the fragmentary text of a satyr play by Sophocles into an astringent comedy for our times, incorporating into the action the two Edwardian papyrologists who discovered the original.

This edition contains the text as it was performed in Delphi.

A term that gained currency in the late twentieth century to describe theatre designed for a specific space or location that is not itself designed for theatrical use. Coming at the fine art end of an unconventional spectrum – often also called installation – there is usually an emphasis on the visual and/or the technological, and there is overlap with performance art and environmental theatre. A performer has spent seven days asleep in a glass case in an art gallery; classical drama has been staged in former Nazi submarine docks; and computer artists from different countries have beamed images on to buildings surrounding a once thriving shipyard while a multimedia event among the yard’s swivelling cranes is able to be seen by 30 million people on the internet. On one industrial estate in the north of England, a play starred 75 cars, three buses and an excavator. The audience drove in, sat in their cars in a circle, and played their part by hooting their horns and slamming their doors. The play was broadcast on radio. An early fashion for the spectacular began to give way to more ordinary, non-theatrical locations.

from Charles London, The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre, ed. Colin Chambers (London, 2002).