America in the mid-1980s. In the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell.
Originally premiered in Britain at the National Theatre, London, where it won the Evening Standard Best Play Award, Tony Kushner’s Angels in America went on to win two Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
This volume contains both Part One: Millennium Approaches and Part Two: Perestroika, plus 45 pages of bonus material including a new introduction by the playwright, a full production history, deleted scenes, and notes on staging. It was published alongside a new production in 2017 at the National Theatre, London, directed by Marianne Elliott and starring Andrew Garfield, Denise Gough, Nathan Lane, James McArdle and Russell Tovey.
‘The finest drama of our time, speaking to us of an entire era of life and death as no other play within memory. In its sweep and imagination, it defines the collapse of a moral universe during the Reagan years in an unforgettable way, transcending its specific time in the richness of its portrait of an America Lost, perhaps to be regained… It’s a pretty funny play, too. How we still need it! It ranks as nothing less than one of the greatest plays of the twentieth century’
— New York Observer
‘A true theatrical epic… Kushner’s writing dazzles. Its sheer imaginative reach can be exhilarating and it’s studded with devilish humour. Instead of appearing dated, it seems pointedly topical in its scrutiny of intolerance, immigration, religious values and national ideals’
— Evening Standard
‘A start-to-finish sensation… the core themes, about the price paid for denial, and the cost of change and acceptance, the end-times sense of foreboding many feel about the state of the planet too, still pulse with urgency; the emotions sear afresh’
‘The scope and vision are enough to make you gasp and cheer… seeing it now is like a vigorously entertaining history lesson. It is a reminder of just how terrifying and tragic the times were, of all the people who died terribly and needlessly, but also a vibrant hymn to the ragged soul of humanity itself, in all its messy, complicated imperfection… Kushner’s achievement is to make his characters so compelling that the massive themes he pins around them – the relationship between man and God, the power of the numinous, the root of good and moral in a shifting, dangerous world, the role of progress and change – sit comfortably alongside the unfolding of their stories’
‘Epic in every conceivable sense of the word… though valuable as an evocative history play, Kushner’s work is still a powerful call to arms. The challenges of progress, immigration and integration, prejudice, global warming, and religious and national identity are still urgent topics, here often brilliantly and waspishly articulated… a monumental achievement’
— Broadway World
‘Big on ideas, ambition and scope… it liberatingly plays with form: conventional scenes of domestic realism defiantly throw off those shackles with abandon to enter hallucinatory realms of fantasy, mystery and mysticism… where once it might have been stating radical positions, Angels in America now plays like a raw, truthful documentary of where we’ve come from, and serves as a necessary reminder of those bleak times before AIDS became a treatable disease’
— The Stage
‘Both a document of the Aids crisis and an enduringly relevant commentary on US politics… what really hits one is the expansiveness of Kushner’s imagination and the rich opportunities he creates for actors’
Best New Play, Critics’ Circle Awards
Best Play, Evening Standard Awards
Best Play, Tony Awards
Pulitzer Prize for Drama