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Biography

Caryl Churchill (born 3 September 1938) is an English dramatist known for her use of non-naturalistic techniques and feminist themes, the abuses of power, and sexual politics. She is acknowledged as a major playwright in the English language and a leading female writer. Her early work developed Brecht's modernist dramatic and theatrical techniques of ‘Epic theatre’ to explore issues around gender and sexuality. 

From A Mouthful of Birds (1986) onwards, she began to experiment with forms of dance-theatre, incorporating techniques developed from the performance tradition initiated by Artaud with his 'Theatre of Cruelty'. This move away from a clear Fabel dramaturgy towards increasingly fragmented and surrealistic narratives characterises her work as a postmodernist.

By Caryl Bhurchill, available through Currency Press - see all

Bliss
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Bliss

Olivier Choinière, translated by Caryl Churchill
 
From the other side, you're looking at me. I'm looking at you. We smile at each other.

Welcome to Wal-Mart. On their break, a cashier and her fellow workers flick throuch celebrity gossip magazines.

See you later, Céline,' says a headline. What's wrong with Céline? Why is she turning her back on her glamorous public life, her adoring fans? And how is her story connected to the story of an unknown woman on the facing page? It's not. Until the Oracle intervenes.

This wild and slippery fantasy from French-Canadian writer Olivier Choinière explores our insatiable appetite for private lives made public.

Cast : 2M, 2F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-552-2 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Blue Heart
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Blue Heart

Caryl Churchill
 
Two related short plays, both teasingly entertaining and brilliantly executed. But neither play is what it seems. Something catastrophic is happening which disrupts and destroys the very fabric of their worlds.

Heart's Desire
A father, mother and aunt are waiting for a woman to arrive home after years away in Australia. 

Blue Kettle
A middle-aged man sets out to convince a succession of elderly women that that they are his long-lost mother.

Review
Substantial, provocative, immensely stylish works which create an unsettling mixture of wild laughter and profound unease... a major hit -  Daily Telegraph


Cast : Heart's Desire - 2M, 4F ; Blue Kettle - 1M, 6F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-327-6 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Churchill Plays: 3
$31.81 ex GST
$34.99 inc GST

Churchill Plays: 3

Caryl Churchill
 

Spanning almost ten years and embracing a remarkable range of style and subject matter, this third volume of Churchill's Collected Plays contains Icecream , Mad Forest, The Skriker, Thyestes , Lives of the Great Poisoners and A Mouthful of Birds. Introduced by the author.




Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-342-9 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Churchill Plays: 4
$31.81 ex GST
$34.99 inc GST

Churchill Plays: 4

Caryl Churchill
 
Published to mark her 70th birthday – the fourth volume of the collected plays of one of the best playwrights alive.

After the music-theatre piece, Hotel, from 1997, Churchill charted a course in This is a Chair, Blue Heart (both also premiered in 1997) and Far Away (2000) towards an increasingly extreme and unsettling mix of surrealism and a passionate engagement with big issues. A Number (2002) and Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? (2006) are less surreal but more overtly political, dealing respectively with cloning and with the Anglo-US axis. The volume ends with her version of Strindberg’s A Dream Play made for the National Theatre in 2005. Churchill, who rarely writes about her work and will not give interviews, has contributed a specially written introduction.

Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-540-9 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Churchill: Shorts
$31.81 ex GST
$34.99 inc GST

Churchill: Shorts

Caryl Churchill
 

Ten short plays for stage, radio and TV, selected by Caryl Churchill, opening up a little-known aspect of her writing, and demonstrating her considerable versatility and breadth of concern.

Featuring:

Abortive (Radio 3, 1971)

The After-Dinner Joke (BBC TV, 1978)

The Hospital at the Time of the Revolution

Hot Fudge (Royal Court Theatre, 1989)

The Judge's Wife (BBC TV, 1972)

Lovesick (Radio 3, 1967)

Not Not Not Not Not Enough Oxygen (Radio 3, 1971)

Schreber's Nervous Illness (Radio 3, 1972)

Seagulls

Three More Sleepless Nights (Soho Poly Theatre, 1980)

Includes an introduction by the author.


Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-085-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Cloud Nine
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Cloud Nine

Caryl Churchill
 

A landmark play about sexual politics in colonial Africa and modern-day Britain, in which all our assumptions about sex and gender are stunningly exploded.

Set in both colonial Africa and modern-day Britain, Cloud Nine is about relationships – between women and men, men and men, women and women. It is about sex, work, mothers, Africa, power, children, grandmothers, politics, and money.

Review

'Sharp comedy and a serious purpose are splendidly combined... It unlocks the imagination, liberates the mind, and leaves you weak with laughter.'  Time Out

 







Cast : 4M, 3F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-090-9 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Ding Dong the Wicked
$13.59 ex GST
$14.95 inc GST

Ding Dong the Wicked

Caryl Churchill
 

There’s nothing I inherited except my father’s hair and his left-handedness. Everything I got I earned.

A child is shut in her room, a dog is dead in the road, someone is kissing her brother in law. A family locked in hatred is sending a son to war. And meanwhile in another country…


 

Cast : 3M, 3F (doubling required)
Nick Hern Books UK | 978-1-84842-303-9 | Sales: Australia/NZ only | PB
Dream Play, A
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Dream Play, A

August Strindberg in a version by Caryl Churchill
 
Written in 1901, A Dream Play is a mysterious amalgam of Freud, Alice in Wonderland and Strindberg's own private symbolism. It follows the logic of a dream, in which characters merge into each other, locations change in an instant and a locked door becomes an obsessive recurrent image. This is Caryl Churchill's spare and resonant adaptation of this enigmatic masterpiece.

Review
'100 minutes of disconcerting theatrical brilliance... spellbinding.' -  Daily Telegraph



Cast : 5M, 5F (doubling required)
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-851-6 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?

Caryl Churchill
 

A man falls in love with America and leaves his wife and children for fifty years of love and adventure with Sam.

Caryl Churchill is a leading dramatist whose many plays include Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Top Girls, Cloud Nine, Far Away and A Number.






Cast : 2M
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-959-9 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Escaped Alone
$22.72 ex GST
$24.99 inc GST

Escaped Alone

Caryl Churchill
 

“I’m walking down the street and there’s a door in the fence open and inside there are three women I’ve seen before.”

Three old friends and a neighbour. A summer of afternoons in the back yard. Tea and catastrophe.

Escaped Alone premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 2016, in a production directed by James Macdonald.

Nick Hern Books, UK | 978-1-84842-549-1 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Far Away
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Far Away

Caryl Churchill
 

A brilliant and unsettling play from Caryl Churchill.

At the opening of the play, a young girl is questioning her aunt about having seen her uncle hitting people with an iron bar; by the end, several years later, the whole world is at war – including birds and animals. Far Away is a howl of anguish at the increasing – and increasingly accepted – levels of inhumanity in a world seemingly perpetually involved in conflict.

Review
Caryl Churchill was expected to produce something explosive in Far Away, but... she has exceeded the critics' highest expectations - Observer
Cast : 2F, 1M + 1 child
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-744-1 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Here We Go
$15.45 ex GST
$16.99 inc GST

Here We Go

Caryl Churchill
 

A short play about death by Caryl Churchill.

A funeral party for a man with an adventurous past and a ginger cat that needs a home.

Where is he now? Is his heart lighter than a feather? How did he die? And what happens to his friends?

Here We Go premiered at the National Theatre, London, in November 2015.

Nick Hern Books, UK | 978-1-84842-519-4 | Sales Rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Hotel
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Hotel

Caryl Churchill
 

A two-part jazz opera, words by Caryl Churchill, music by Orlando Gough.  This volume contains Churchill's libretto, plus articles on the making of Hotel.

In the first part, entitled Eight Rooms, fourteen people spend a night in a hotel. But they all occupy the same space, their stories overlapping and interweaving and creating an exhilarating collage of words, voices, music and choreographed movement.

In the second part, Two Nights, a dance piece, we see two nights happening at the same time as two people find different ways to disappear.

Review
'Elusive, poetic, striking and substantial.' The Times

Cast : 6M, 8F, 2 pianists, 1 double bassist
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-337-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Light Shining in Buckinghamshire

Caryl Churchill
 
A play about the English Civil War's last desperate burst of revolutionary feeling before the Restoration. 

Review
'Even more than an immediately impressive exercise in historical drama, the play deals in the rawness of life during the Civil War and the crazy mixture of ideals and half-truths which led a group of free-loving pantheistic communists to set their standard against the standard of the false revolution of Cromwell's parliamentarians.'  Steve Grant

Cast : 4M, 3F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-311-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Love and Information
$20.86 ex GST
$22.95 inc GST

Love and Information

Caryl Churchill
 

Someone sneezes. Someone can’t get a signal. Someone shares a secret. Someone won’t answer the door. Someone put an elephant on the stairs. Someone’s not ready to talk. Someone is her brother’s mother. Someone hates irrational numbers. Someone told the police. Someone got a message from the traffic light. Someone’s never felt like this before. In this fast moving kaleidoscope more than a hundred characters try to make sense of what they know.



 


Cast : 7M, 9F (doubling required)
Nick Hern Books UK | 978-1-84842-288-9 | Sales: Australia/NZ only | PB
Mad Forest
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Mad Forest

Caryl Churchill
 

Churchill's play about the Romanian revolution explores he reactions of ordinary people to confused events by focusing on two families. What emerges is the dreadful damage done to people's lives by repression and the painful difficulties of lasting change.

The play was written after Churchill, the director and a group of students from London's Central School of Speech and Drama went to Romania to work with acting students there. It was first performed in 1990, only three months after their return.

Also available in Churchill: Plays Three

Cast : 7M, 4F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-044-2 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Number, A
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Number, A

Caryl Churchill
 
With her finger as always on the pulse of our deepest concerns, Churchill turns her extraordinary dramatic gifts to the subject of human cloning; how might a man feel to discover that he is only one in a number of identical copies. And which one of him is the original...?

Review
Caryl Churchill's magnificent new play only lasts an hour but contains more drama, and more ideas, than most writers manage in a dozen full-length works. Part psychological thriller, part topical scientific speculation, and part analysis of the relationship between fathers and their sons, it combines elegant structural simplicity with an astonishing intellectual and emotional depth...What a tremendous play this is, moving thought-provoking and dramatically thrilling -   Daily Telegraph



Cast : 2M
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-709-0 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Skriker
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Skriker

Caryl Churchill
 

Combining English folk tales with modern urban life, The Skriker is a verbally stunning play premiered at the National Theatre in 1994.

The Skriker of English legend is a shapeshifter and death portent, ancient and damaged - in its search for love and revenge it pursues two young women to London, changing its shape at every new encounter.

Review
'Unwholesome, hypnotic and born in the dark... spellbinding.'  Independent on Sunday

Also available in Churchill: Plays Three



 

Cast : 7M, 8F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-275-0 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
This is a Chair
$13.59 ex GST
$14.95 inc GST

This is a Chair

Caryl Churchill
 

A series of surreal sketches, each prefaced by a doom-laden tabloid style headline, This is a Chair is at once modern and postmodern, tragedy and farce, about all and about nothing.

Review
Churchill, who constantly reinvents dramatic form, has come up with something compelling and strange: an intimate revue about the increasing surreality of modern life -  Guardian



Cast : 8M, 7F (doubling possible)
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-344-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Thyestes
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Thyestes

Caryl Churchill
 
An accurate, uncut and faithful translation of Seneca's tragedy, first seen in Manchester and at the Royal Court in 1994. 

Review
'It is a sign of Ms Churchill's success that, without rubbing in any parallels, her version constantly prompts thoughts... of the ethics of revenge, of the latest reports from Rwanda, of what has happened in its time on all five continents.' Sunday Telegraph  

Also available in Churchill: Plays Three.



Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-650-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Traps
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Traps

Caryl Churchill
 

Like a painting by Escher ‘where the objects can exist on paper, but would be impossible in life’, Traps is a mindbending dramatic concoction in which the characters can be thought of as living all their possibilities at once.

Traps is an early play by Caryl Churchill, written before her breakthrough successes with Cloud Nine and Top Girls.

Review
'A fascinating script...Churchill’s most confident and creative deployment of stagecraft.'  Plays and Players



Cast : 4M, 2F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-095-4 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB