Two linked plays – Mothers Against and Daughters of the Revolution – by the UK’s leading political playwright, investigating the machinations of the Democratic and Republican parties in America.
In this two-play cycle set against the background of a bitterly fought American governor’s election, David Edgar explores what has happened to the revolutionary fervour which took hold of both the Right and the Left in the 1960s, and how it has been carried over into the politics of today.
The plays were jointly commissioned and produced by Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. They were first performed in Ashland, Oregon, as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in March 2003 before transferring to Berkeley Repertory Theatre in November 2003.
Continental Divide received its UK premiere at Birmingham Repertory Theatre in March 2004. It subsequently played at the Barbican, London, as part of the BITE Festival, in March 2004.
‘Edgar’s main theme is how precisely the US got where it is today… In the big, bold Daughters of the Revolution, he uses a political thriller to show how the 1960s radical bady-boomers turned into today’s bland conformists… Its companion piece, Mothers Against, dealing with the Republican side of the same west-coast election is a total triumph… The action takes place in the Vine county home the weekend before a crucial televised debate… Edgar has always been good at the process of politics… Together the two plays are a tremendous achievement… Although rooted in the US, the plays have obvious resonance elsewhere’