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#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei
$20.90 ex GST
$22.99 inc GST

#aiww: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei

Howard Brenton
 

A timely play based on the true story of an imprisoned Nobel Laureate.

On 3 April 2011, as he was boarding a flight to Taipei, the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was arrested at Beijing Airport. Advised merely that his travel ‘could damage state security’, he was escorted to a van by officials, after which he disappeared for eighty-one days. On his release, the government claimed that his imprisonment related to tax evasion.

Howard Brenton's play is based on Ai Weiwei's account in Barnaby Martin's book Hanging Man, in which he told the story of that imprisonment - by turns surreal, hilarious, and terrifying. A portrait of the artist in extreme conditions, it is also an affirmation of the centrality of art and freedom of speech in civilised society.



Cast : 9M (doubling)
Nick Hern Books UK | 978-1-84842-331-2 | Sales: Australia/NZ only | PB
55 Days
$20.86 ex GST
$22.95 inc GST

55 Days

Howard Brenton
 
December 1648. The army has occupied London. Parliament votes not to put the imprisoned King on trial, so the army moves against Westminster and the only military coup in English history takes place. But the army leadership remains divided: Cromwell would prefer a compromise with the King, but the King will not compromise. A new nation must therefore be forged… and over 55 days, an entirely new world is created
 



Cast : 13M, 2F (doubling required)
Nick Hern Books UK | 978-1-84842-287-2 | Sales: Australia/NZ only | PB
Anne Boleyn
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Anne Boleyn

Howard Brenton
 
A celebration of a great English heroine, Anne Boleyn dramatises the life and legacy of Henry VIII’s notorious second wife, who helped change the course of the nation’s history.

Traditionally seen as either the pawn of an ambitious family manoeuvred into the King’s bed or as a predator manipulating her way to power, Anne – and her ghost – are seen in a very different light in Howard Brenton’s epic play.

Rummaging through the dead Queen Elizabeth’s possessions upon coming to the throne in 1603, King James I finds alarming evidence that Anne was a religious conspirator, in love with Henry VIII but also with the most dangerous ideas of her day. She comes alive for him, a brilliant but reckless young woman confident in her sexuality, whose marriage and death transformed England for ever.

Cast : 13M, 7F (larger cast possible)
Nick Hern Books, UK | 978-1-84842-099-1 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Berlin Bertie
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Berlin Bertie

Howard Brenton
 
A tale of two sisters, one who has made her home in East Berlin, one who has stayed in their native London. With the downing of the Wall, Rosa returns...

Review
A bold, blackly comic and concerned play   Independent





Cast : 2M, 3F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-242-2 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Drawing the Line
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Drawing the Line

Howard Brenton
 

London, 1947. Summoned by the Prime Minister from the court where he is presiding judge, Cyril Radcliffe is given an unlikely mission. He is to travel to India, a country he has never visited, and, with limited survey information, no expert support and no knowledge of cartography, he is to draw the border which will divide the Indian sub-continent into two new Sovereign Dominions. To make matters even more challenging, he has only six weeks to complete the task.

Wholly unsuited to his role, Radcliffe is unprepared for the dangerous whirlpool of political intrigue and passion into which he is plunged – untold consequences may even result from the illicit liaison between the Leader of the Congress Party and the Viceroy’s wife… As he begins to break under the pressure he comes to realise that he holds in his hands the fate of millions of people.

Howard Brenton’s sweeping epic Drawing the Line vividly unfolds the chaotic story of the partition that shaped the modern world.


Cast : 6F, 25M, doubling possible
Nick Hern Books, UK | 978-1-84842-372-5 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only  | PB
Faust Parts I and II
$27.23 ex GST
$29.95 inc GST

Faust Parts I and II

Goethe in a version by Howard Brenton
 

A two-part version of Goethe's great work, retaining the mighty scope, linguistic daring and philosophical intricacy of the original.

God and Mephistopheles make a bet as to who can win the soul of Dr Faust. The good doctor signs a contract that offers him boundless knowledge and sensual gratification – but on one condition...

Faust Parts I and II was designed to be performed in two parts of two and a half hours each, but can also be cut to make one long play.

Review
Full of intellectual swagger, robust humour, driving poetical passion and barefaced cheek -  Sunday Times

Cast : 13M, 8F with doubling
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-204-0 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Never So Good
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Never So Good

Howard Brenton
 
None of us knew what we were doing, of course. At the beginning of the Great war, the world was a ripening peach, and we were eating it. And looking back, how lovely we were, and so earnest, and innocent.

Set against a backdrop of fading Empire, war, the Suez crisis, vintage champagne, adultery and vicious Tory politics at the Ritz, Howard Brenton's Never So Good paints the portrait of a brilliant, witty but complex man, at times comically and, in the end, tragically out of kilter with his times.

Harold Macmillan, the Eton-educated idealist who rushed, with Homer's Iliad under his arm, to do his duty in the Grenadier Guards, is tormented by the harsh experiences of war and an unhappy marriage. His career in the 1930s is blocked by his loyalty to Winston Churchill, and he nearly loses his life in the Second World War. When at last he  becomes Prime Minster he is brought down by the Profumo scandal.

Review

Cast : 12M, 2F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-551-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Paul
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Paul

Howard Brenton
 
The most famous conversion in history — when Saul became Paul on the road to Damascus — was a trick. It was actually Jesus appearing to him. Jesus did not die on the cross but was rescued and sheltered by his brother James, by Peter and by Peter’s wife, Mary Magdalene. Howard Brenton once said that theatre should be like ‘throwing a petrol bomb into the auditorium’. His new play, Paul looks set to restore his reputation as a controversialist. That said, Paul is a bold and deeply serious piece of work that succeeds in re-animating stories and events that have become stale with familiarity.



Cast : 8M, 1F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-886-8 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, The
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Ragged Trousered Philanthropists, The

Robert Tressell (adapted by Howard Brenton)
 
Passionate, highly entertaining and gloriously funny - Robert Tressell’s classic pre-First World War account of the working lives of a group of housepainters and decorators is vividly adapted by Howard Brenton.

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists recounts the little daily successes and the disasters of a group of working-class men, living under the constant fear of being laid off by employers forever looking for new corners to cut. Both workers and bosses are caught in a system spiralling out of control, but why is it the workers always come out worse?

Review
Sparkles with so much wit and integrity it is impossible not to warm to the ethos that lies at its very core. -   The Stage



Cast : 10M, 2F (doubling possible)
Nick Hern Books, UK | 978-1-84842-107-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB