The performing arts publisher

Search

quick | advanced

 

My Cart

Items : 0
Sub total : $0.00

View Cart 
Shipping Policy

Search

Book & Play Search Results

Arguments for a Theatre
$27.26 ex GST
$29.99 inc GST

Arguments for a Theatre

Howard Barker
 

This new edition of Barker’s seminal text Arguments for a Theatre outlines the theory and practice of his ‘Theatre of Catastrophe’. Author of over thirty plays, Howard Barker has long been an implacable foe of the liberal British establishment, and champion of radical theatre world-wide. His best-known plays are The Castle, Scenes from an Execution and The Possibilities. All his plays are emotionally highly charged, intellectually stimulating and have no truck with the theatrical conventions of what he terms the ‘Establishment Theatre’. These fragments, essays, thoughts and poems on the nature of theatre likewise reject the constraints of ‘objective’ academic theatre criticism. Rather they explore the collision (and collusion) of intellect and artistry in the creative act. This book is more than a collection of essays: it is a cultural manifesto.

Oberon Books Ltd, UK | 978-1-78319-805-4 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Barker Plays Five
$36.32 ex GST
$39.95 inc GST

Barker Plays Five

Howard Barker
 
Featuring: The Last Supper, Seven Lears, Hated Nightfall and Wounds to the Face

Howard Barker is one of the most significant and controversial dramatists of his time. His plays challenge, unsettle and expose.

Both The Last Supper and Seven Lears exemplify Barker's way with great religious and literary stories, the first placing the willful suicide of a Christ-like prophet, Lvov, in the context of modern chaos, illuminating his moral ambiguities with comic or painful parables, the second taking its inspiration from the significant absence in Shakespeare's play, that of Lear's wife, the queen whose murder is here discerned as the origin as the great family tragedy.

The execution of the Russian royal family remains shrouded in mystery - not least that of the identity of two bodies discovered in the mass grave years after the event. In Hated Nightfall Barker's speculative imagination leads him to identify these as the children's tutor, Dancer, and a recalcitrant servant, Jane. Dancer is perhaps Barker's archetypal hero, febrile, iconoclastic, yet in search of a self-sacrifice nothing appears to justify. In Wounds to the Face, our complex and sometimes violent relations with our own physiognomy form the psychological link between related scenes of wounding, notoriety, shame and vanity in a play of kaleidoscopic energy and imagery.
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84002-886-7 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Barker Plays Nine
$31.81 ex GST
$34.99 inc GST

Barker Plays Nine

Howard Barker
 

The latest collection of plays by Howard Barker, one of the most significant and controversial dramatists of our time. Internationally renowned, his plays challenge, unsettle and expose.

The latest volume in Oberon's Howard Barker series comprises the plays:

  • Harrowing and Uplifting Interviews
  • In the Cloth Cathedral
  • In the Depths of Dead Love
  • More No Still
Oberon Books Ltd, UK | 978-1-78319-311-0 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Barker Plays One
$36.32 ex GST
$39.95 inc GST

Barker Plays One

Howard Barker
 

Features: Victory, The Europeans, The Possibilities and Scenes From An Execution.

Howard Barker is one of the most significant and controversial dramatists of his time. His plays challenge, unsettle and expose. These plays are among his best-known works, and their energy, poetic language and imagination have fixed them firmly in the international repertoire.

Exploring the tragic form defined by Barker as Theatre of Catastrophe, three of the plays speculate on human behaviour in moments of historical crisis. Victory is set in the English Civil War and follows the ethical voyage of a widow towards personal reconstruction. The Europeans takes one of the great eruptions of Islamic imperialism as the background for a young woman's insistence on her right to her own identity. Scenes from an Execution shows the struggle of an independently-minded artist against the power of the Venetian state and The Possibilities, a disturbing series of short plays set in various times and cultures, reveals Barker's unconventional way with moral dilemmas.


Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84002-612-2 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Barker Plays Six
$36.32 ex GST
$39.95 inc GST

Barker Plays Six

Howard Barker
 

Featuring: Judith, (Uncle) Vanya, A House of Correction, Let Me and Lot and His God

Barker’s radical rewriting of Chekhov’s classic Uncle Vanya brought him more controversy than most of his other works put together. Interrogating not so much Chekhov’s text as the use to which society has put it, Barker turns Vanya’s defeat into victory and converts a play of sadness into a tragedy of desire. A House of Correction is a meditation on cause and effect. Set on the eve of a war which may destroy a society, the seemingly arbitrary arrival of a messenger with a vital communication sets off an agonizing train of events in the lives of three desperate women.

Few works of drama can have plumbed the depths of solitude and rage that characterize Let Me, a nightmare set on the frontiers of the Roman Empire during the barbarian invasions. Biblical narratives serve as the origin of two shorter works, of which Judith is a contemporary classic of cultural conflict, a reinterpretation of the status of the heroine in Israel’s war of survival against the Assyrians. In Lot and His God, the imminent destruction of Sodom simultaneously licenses the moral decay of an angel and the erotic epiphany of an adored wife
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84002-961-1 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Barker: Plays Eight
$34.50 ex GST
$37.95 inc GST

Barker: Plays Eight

Howard Barker
 
Featuring: The Bite of the Night, Brutopia, The Forty and  Wonder and Worship in the Dying Ward.


The Trojan legend and the character of Helen form the basis for The Bite of the Night. As with all Barker’s mythical and historical works, it is overlaid and undermined by a contemporary narrative, in this instance the search for the origin of the erotic undertaken by the redundant university teacher Dr Savage and his nihilistic student, Hogbin. Through all twelve Troys, Savage and Helen struggle with a passion both intellectual and physical, and the idea of beauty is refined to a terrifying degree.

In Brutopia Barker’s controversial portrait of the humanist Thomas More is shaped around his strained relationship with his daughter Cecilia, here discovered to be the author of a counter-text to her parent’s infamous Utopia. Cecilia’s wit and cruelty mark her out as one of Barker’s least compromising and heroic young women.

The Forty is a significant departure from Barker’s dramatic practice, his investment in language reduced to a few phrases which punctuate detailed scenes of conflict and solitude. Physical movement, and intense concentration on gesture show the author’s flair for visuality in a new and surprising way.

The theme of sacrifice features increasingly in Barker’s theatre, and in Wonder and Worship in the Dying Ward it is a mother’s refusal to apologize for an act of passion – notwithstanding the dire consequence for her own child – that is at the heart of the argument. Set in a home for terminally-ill patients, many of whom create a hilarious chorus around the protagonists, Wonder and Worship in the Dying Ward shows Barker’s imagination in its most startling form.

Cast : 4F, 12M, extras; 5F, 12M, extras; 13 characters non-gender specific
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-78319-087-4 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Barker: Plays Four
$26.32 ex GST
$28.95 inc GST

Barker: Plays Four

Howard Barker
 
Featuring: I Saw Myself, The Dying of Today, Found in the Ground and The Road, the House, the Road.

I Saw Myself 
A woman's longing to understand her compulsion to transgress the laws of her society comes into collision with the conventions of an art form. In the weaving of tapestry Barker's thirteenth-century heroine privileges private life over public responsibility. if she is cruelly punished she is also granted self-awareness. 

The Dying of Today
A stranger who luxuriates in the telling of bad news observes the effects of his devastating narrative on a humble barber. The barber's recovery from pain, and the beauty of his sensibility, bring the two strangers into an emotional proximity.

Found in the Ground
A mobile, musical work set during the last days of an aged Nuremberg judge whose baying hounds and burning library form an uncanny background to his wayward daughter's struggle to make meaning from the atrocities of the twentieth century. 

The Road, the House, the Road
Erasmus' obscure colleague Aventinus was foudn dead on a wintry road. How he arrived at his solitary death forms the subject of this speculation on scholarship, mishief and the murderer's vocation.


Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-851-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Barker: Plays Seven
$29.95 ex GST
$32.95 inc GST

Barker: Plays Seven

Howard Barker
 

This volume of Oberon's Howard Barker series comprises the plays Und, 12th Battle of Isonzo, 12 Encounters With a Prodigy, Christ’s Dog and Learning Kneeling.

Howard Barker is Barker is an internationally renowned dramatist. There has been a recent resurgence of presentations of his plays in Britain, with particularly acclaimed productions at the Arcola theatre and the Hackney Empire in recent years. He has a sizable following on the European mainland.




Cast : 1F; 1M, 1F; 10M, 7F; 11M, 5F; 5M, 3F
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-401-0 | Sales: Australia/NZ only | PB
Barker: Plays Three
$26.32 ex GST
$28.95 inc GST

Barker: Plays Three

Howard Barker
 
Featuring: Claw, Ursula, He Stumbled, The Love of a Good Man.

Claw 
Follows an underprivileged young man watching his so-called superiors.

Ursula
Barker’s typically intriguing take on the legend of St Ursula.

He Stumbled
A fable concerning an anatomist and a dying king.

The Love of a Good Man
We witness the mass burial of the dead.


Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-676-4 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Barker: Plays Two
$26.32 ex GST
$28.95 inc GST

Barker: Plays Two

Howard Barker
 
Howard Barker is one of the most significant and contraversial dramatists of his time. His plays challenge, unsettle and expose. The plays in this volume examine collisions of culture, gender and creed at moments of turmoil, developing the tragic form Barker defines as Theatre of Catastrophe.

The Castle
Set at the end of Crusades and describes the clashes that occur when returning soldiers bring an Arab architect home with them as a prisoner.

Gertrude—The Cry
Re-writing of the Hamlet story. Scarcely examined in Shakespeare, the passion of Gertrude for Claudius is made the centre of this harrowing tragedy, casting new light on the personality of Hamlet himself.

Animals in Paradise
Commissioned by the Swedish and Danish governments to celebrate their conection by bridge, a symbolic finish to centuries of antagonism. Barker's unexpected treatment of the theme provoked unrest on its first showing.

13 Objects
Movingly reveals the investment we make in inanimate things, their power to unsettle us, and how their talismanic qualities license new ways of seeing the world.   


Cast : The Castle - 11M,5F / Gertrude—The Cry - 4M,3F / Animals in Paradise - 12M,5F / 13 Objects - 20M,12F
Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-648-1 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
BLOK/EKO
$20.86 ex GST
$22.95 inc GST

BLOK/EKO

Howard Barker
 

Howard Barker’s theatre is characterised by its tragic scale and its distinctive way of exposing the unconscious resistances that underlie apparent social unanimity, both in the sexual and political spheres.

Barker’s play, BLOK/EKO, is a large-scale drama about death and its status in the world. Eko, an ageing despot, seemingly on a whim liquidates the entire medical profession, asserting that consolation – in the form of song – is a better way with sickness than drugs or surgery. A connoisseur herself, she knows great song is itself the distillation of suffering and so deliberately exposes her greatest poet Tot to a life of crime, poverty and humiliation in order to extract from him his finest work.



Cast : 4M, 4F (doubling required)
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-110-1 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Dead Hands
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Dead Hands

Howard Barker
 

A young man rushes to reach the bedside of his dying father, but arrives too late. His younger brother was present at the death, but his attitude is strangely ambiguous, and the elder brother becomes suspicious. The intentions of the dead man's mistress are also unclear.

The mourners become increasingly consumed by feverish imagining, building a powerfully tense atmosphere as their characters start to disintegrate.

Cast : 2M, 1F
Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-464-7 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Ecstatic Bible, The
$35.41 ex GST
$38.95 inc GST

Ecstatic Bible, The

Howard Barker
 

A testament to the millenium, that sweeps through a landscape shaped by the European political and social experience of the twentieth century.

A series of interlocking narratives negotiate a strange landscape — streets, a chateau, a hospital ward of war wounded — inhabited by amoral and passionate characters. Provocative imagery and poetic language are suffused with a rich, dark humour. This intriguing collection of parables lacking in morality carries profound echoes of pain and comic contradiction.

Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-413-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | HB
Fence in its Thousandth Year, The
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Fence in its Thousandth Year, The

Howard Barker
 
The Fence has been inspired by the barrier in the Gaza stip built to separate the Palestinian and Jewish communities. Set in a world of rising frontiers and illegal immigration, The Fence uses powerful poetic language, provocative ideas and rich, dark humour to build a compelling, scandalous epic. At the heart of this tale is the intensely personal story of a blind boy’s struggle to discover his true identity in a world where nothing is what it seems...
  



Cast : 4M, 4F
Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-571-2 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Hurts Given and Received /Slowly
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Hurts Given and Received /Slowly

Howard Barker
 
Howard Barker re-examines the creative life of the artist through one of his most fascinating and appalling creations. Provocative ideas, pungent poetic language, and savage wit build a thought-provoking allegory of the artist’s relationship with society.

Review
Barker, with witty, wicked glee, pricks the pomposity of the tortured artist - The Times

Oberon Books | 978-1-84943-016-6 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Lot and His God
$20.86 ex GST
$22.95 inc GST

Lot and His God

Howard Barker
 

I came to the city. I saw the people were filthy. And those who were not filthy were still filthy…

Sodom. The day before the city's total annihilation. Among the grimy tables of a run - down café, an angel tells Lot that God wants him to flee, before the city is obliterated. However, Lot's irresistible wife has other ideas... As the angel and Lot's wife embark on a dangerous game of seduction, cruelty and desire, we are drawn ever deeper into the dark and impenetrable forest that is the marriage between Lot and the bewitching woman he worships…




Cast : 3M, 1F
Oberon Books, UK | 978-1-84943-409-6 | Sales: Australia/NZ only | PB
Seduction of Almighty God, The
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Seduction of Almighty God, The

by the Boy Priest Loftus in the Abbey of Calcetto, 1539

Howard Barker
 

The Seduction of Almighty God is set during the dissolution of the monasteries, during the English Reformation, a critical moment in the history of the English priesthood.

The loss of faith and cynical corruption of the few priests left at the Abbey of Calcetto is unexpectedly challenged by the arrival of a young man with an unsullied and passionate belief in God. The boy Loftus gradually acquires a huge moral ascendancy through the intensity and purity of his faith, but he is then brutally punished by the priests.

Powerful poetic language, provocative ideas and rich, dark humour build a thought-provoking allegory for one of the key issues of our times. Howard Barker invents a world of shocking and universal metaphor in a place that might be anywhere struggling with the rise of extreme belief and the dangerous distorted power it unleashes.

Barker's interest in the Christian faith and the phenomenon of prayer finds expression in a number of his works, from The Last Supper and Two Skulls to the mass of parables that constitutes The Ecstatic Bible.



Cast : 5M, 3F
Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-711-2 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Style and Its Origins, A
$21.77 ex GST
$23.95 inc GST

Style and Its Origins, A

Howard Barker
 

Howard Barker's alter-ego Eduardo Houth first materialised as the photographer of publicity images for Barker's theatre company The Wrestling School, one among many fictional identities assumed by him to screen a range of his activities, including set and costume design.

Writing of himself in the third person and in the historic tense, Barker/Houth achieves a fluency and an uncommon measure of objectivity, though objectivity is scarcely part of the intention.

The result is a unique exercise in self-description, partisan but without the shrill self-justification so common in authentic autobiography. Barker/Houth's A Style and Its Origins is a literary creation, as befits its authorial origins; it is also a document of total originality and a rich source of dramatic and aesthetic history.



Oberon Books | 978-1-84002-718-1 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB