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Author Profile

Biography

Helen Edmundson is the author of many award winning adaptations including Anna Karenina, The Mill on the Floss and Gone to Earth, all collaborations with Shared Experience Theatre Company, of the adaptation of the Whitbread award-winning children’s book Coram Boy and also of original plays including Mother Teresa is Dead and The Clearing.

By Helen Edmundson, available from Currency Press - see all

Anna Karenina
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy (a stage adaptation by Helen Edmundson
 

Helen Edmundson's celebrated and ' exemplary adaptation' (The Times) of Leo Tolstory's enduring classic is a vibrant and deeply moving meditation on the nature of love.  

Awards
  • 1992 Time Out Award - Outstanding Theatrical Event  
Review
Theatre this engrossing is rare  - Time Out


Cast : 4M, 3F (doubling possible)
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-84842-197-4 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Clearing, The
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Clearing, The

Helen Edmundson
 
In the 17th century Cromwell moved English troops into a war-weary Ireland forcing the local inhabitants onto barren land as the English gentry took over their homes. The cruelty of this racial persecution is brought into sharp focus through the tragic love of an Englishman for a local Irish woman.

Awards
  • Winner of the John Whiting Award.
Review
'Does for 17th-century Anglo-Irish history what Arthur Miller did for 17th century New England history.' - Sunday Times

Cast : 5M, 3F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-281-1 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Coram Boy
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Coram Boy

Helen Edmundson (adapted from Jamila Gavin)
 

A heartbreaking tale of orphans, angels, murder and music - dramatised from the Whitbread award-winning novel set in 18th-century England. Winner of the Time Out Live Award for Best Play

In 18th-century Gloucestershire, the evil Otis Gardner preys on unmarried mothers, promising to take their babies (and their money) to Thomas Coram's hospital for foundling children. Instead, he buries the babies and pockets the loot.

But Otis's downfall is set in train when his half-witted son Meshak falls in love with a young girl, Melissa, and rescues the unwanted son she has had with a disgraced aristocrat. The child is brought up in Coram's hospital, and proves to have inherited the startling musical gifts of his father - gifts that ultimately bring about his father's redemption and a heartbreaking family reunion.
  
Review  
'Family shows don't come much more harrowing than this - but nor do they come any finer... as gripping, terrifying, beautiful and moving as anything you will see in the theatre this year... Helen Edmundson's adaptation does full justice to the dark power of the original, while also transforming it into a thrilling piece of theatre.'  Daily Telegraph

Cast : 10M, 7F + 3 boys
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-894-3 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Gone to Earth
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Gone to Earth

Helen Edmundson (adapted from Mary Webb)
 
Mary Webb is best-known today as the novelist whose work was satirised by Cold Comfort Farm. This adaptation of one of her earliest works, Gone to Earth tells the story of Hazel, an innocent and free-spirited 17-year old child of nature living in rural Shropshire who is drawn into a world of earlthy passions which threaten to destroy her.







Cast : 5M, 3F + 1 musician
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-791-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Heresy of Love, The
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Heresy of Love, The

Helen Edmundson
 

A powerful drama based on the extraordinary life of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a poet, nun and major literary figure of Mexico.

In a convent in seventeenth-century Mexico, Sister Juana strives to reconcile her love for God with her desire for a life of the mind. Her gift for writing plays and poems is celebrated by the Court, but her success creates alarm within the Church. Persecuted by a zealous archbishop, Sister Juana’s world threatens to crumble around her as everything she holds dear is jeopardised by dangerous ambitions and illicit desires.


Cast : 8F, 7M
Nick Hern Books UK | 978-1-84842-239-1 | Sales rights: Australia & NZ | PB
Mary Shelley
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Mary Shelley

Helen Edmundson
 

Mary Shelley: daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft; lover of Shelley; author of Frankenstein…

Helen Edmundson’s compelling play explores a crucial episode in the early life of Mary Shelley – her meeting and scandalous elopement aged sixteen with Percy Bysshe Shelley, and its consequences for her sisters, her stepmother and above all, her troubled father, the political philosopher William Godwin.



Cast : 7F, 2M
Nick Hern Books UK | 978-1-84842-257-5 | Sales rights: Australia & NZ | PB
Mill on the Floss, The
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Mill on the Floss, The

Helen Edmundson (adapted from George Eliot)
 

A re-invention of George Eliot's classic story of loss, tragedy and the relentless nature of fate.

Outgrowing — but still hopelessly devoted to — her family, Maggie befriends the disfigured Phillip Wakem, son of a local lawyer. But their fathers become embroiled in a bitter legal dispute that only the prosperous Wakem can win, and the Tullivers find fate dealing them the first harsh hand of many. With their father dead, the family must face up to their cold future together.

Review
Not only reinvents the book, but pushes the boat of theatricality way beyond its usual moorings... The central concept is having three Maggies — a conceit that is thrillingly effective in performance -  Guardian


Cast : 4M, 4F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-276-7 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Mother Teresa is Dead
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Mother Teresa is Dead

Helen Edmundson
 

An intensely topical play exploring Western guilt towards the Third World.

' You're not a saint. Saints don't exist. You're just a woman doing her best.'

Mark arrives in a village in India to try and find his wife. He doesn't understand what has driven her to abandon her young son. Jane cannot explain why she needed to escape or how she ended up looking after children in India – or what is in the bag she's been holding on to. It is hot, dusty and poor, and a long way from their comfortable life in London.

Review
'A tough and moving drama, and one that nags away at the conscience long after you have left the theatre.'  Daily Telegraph


Cast : 2M, 2F
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-700-7 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB
Queen Anne
$21.81 ex GST
$23.99 inc GST

Queen Anne

Helen Edmundson
 

Helen Edmundson's gripping play tells the little-known story of a monarch caught between friendship and duty.

1702. William III is on the throne and England is on the verge of war.

Princess Anne is soon to become Queen, and her advisors vie for influence over the future monarch. Who can Anne turn to when even her most trusted friends seem bent on pursuing power?

Contending with deceit and blackmail, Anne must decide where her allegiances lie, and whether to sacrifice her closest relationships for the sake of the country.


Cast : 6F, 12M + extras
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-84842-666-5 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ only | PB
Swallows and Amazons
$19.95 ex GST
$21.95 inc GST

Swallows and Amazons

Helen Edmundson
 

Arthur Ransome's famous and much-loved children's classic is brought thrillingly to life in Helen Edmundson's wonderfully theatrical adaptation, with ‘delightfully catchy and often witty' (Telegraph) songs by Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy

When John, Susan, Titty and Roger are granted their wish to set sail on their beloved boatSwallow, they know it will be the summer holiday of a lifetime. But their adventure truly begins when they encounter Nancy and Peggy, the self-proclaimed Amazon Pirates, and the dastardly Captain Flint.


Cast : 5F, 6M
Nick Hern Books UK | 978-1-84842-237-7 | Sales rights: Australia & NZ | PB
War and Peace
$24.50 ex GST
$26.95 inc GST

War and Peace

Revised Edition

Leo Tolstoy (a stage adaptation by Helen Edmundson
 
One of the longest and most impressive novels in Western literature, Tolstoy’s War and Peace intertwines its epic account of Napoleon’s invasion of Russia with the tale of three aristocratic families.

An epic achievement... this War and Peace leaves you convinced it is a work for yesterday, today and tomorrow -  The Times






Cast : 10M, 5F (doubling required)
Nick Hern Books | 978-1-85459-572-0 | Sales rights: Australia/NZ | PB