Caryl Churchill

BookCaryl Churchill

Caryl Churchill

Writers and Their Work


July 1st, 2010

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The volume traces the scope and development of Caryl Churchill’s theatre from her early writing for radio and television, through her stage career of the 1970s and 1980s to her recent major success Far Away (2000). Making use of contemporary critical and feminist theory, the study offers close dramatic and theatrical readings of the plays highlighting Churchill’s concerns with feminism, socialism and theatrical style. A key chapter on ‘The Woman Writer’ examines those plays, including Cloud Nine and Top Girls, which brought Churchill to the attention of the international feminist theatre academy, and links Churchill’s emergent feminism to her personal struggle to combine a career in the theatre with motherhood. Detailing the international success of play such as Serious Money and Mad Forest, alongside some of the lesser known and lesser studied earlier work, this accessible account illustrates how Churchill has come to be recognised as one of the leading playwrights of our contemporary theatre.

Author Information

Elaine Aston is a Professor of Contemporary Performance at the University of Lancaster.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover 1
Half Title 2
Title Page 4
Dedication 6
Biographical Outline11
1 Beginnings: Radio, Stage and Television20
'Love's Cure': Lovesick22
'The female malady': Schreber's Nervous Illness25
'Black skins, white masks': The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution28
Crime and punishment: The Judge's Wife30
2 The 'Woman Writer'34
Masculine economy/feminine 'Other': Owners36
The 'offside body': Vinegar Tom41
Performing gender: Cloud Nine48
'Us and them': Top Girls55
3 The Dramatist as Socialist Critic63
'Terrorism and seaside': Objections to Sex and Violence64
From history to historicization: Light Shining in Buckinghamshire69
'Watching the detectives': Softcops76
4 Communities in Dramatic Dialogue81
'Land-girls': Fen81
'Moneyspeak': Serious Money87
'Two weddings and a revolution': Mad Forest92
5 Exploding Words and Worlds97
'Undefended days': A Mouthful of Birds98
Identity, culture and the postmodern: Icecream103
' . . . Lies and video tape': Hot Fudge107
'Dangerous liaisons': Lives of the Great Poisoners108
'A Mouthful of Words': The Skriker113
6 1997 - Far Away120
Revivals: Light Shining in Buckinghamshire and Cloud Nine121
Urban Alienation: Hotel124
'Eight Glimpses of Contemporary Life : This is a Chair127
A Family 'Reunion': Blue Heart130
Far Away133
7 A Royal Court Celebration138
'Empire of the Selfsame': A Number139
In Between Times146
'The Man Who Fell in Love with America': Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?147
'A Play for Craza': Seven Jewish Children153
Select Bibliography172