Two plays by David Edgar, written thirty-five years apart, both exploring the theme of youth and revolution.
Maydays tells the story of the twenty-somethings who came of age in 1968 and were drawn into revolutionary politics; of defection from East to West as well as from Left to Right. It is told through a number of interlocking stories, across three continents and twenty-five years of tumultuous history.
First performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican, London, in 1983, Maydays was revived in this new version, also by the RSC, in 2018.
Trying It On is an autobiographical monologue, written to be performed by Edgar, in which the author at seventy confronts the ideals of his twenty-something self. Does he still share the beliefs which once defined him as a person and as an artist? If not, is it he that has changed, or the world itself?
Presented by Warwick Arts Centre and China Plate, Trying It On toured the UK in 2018, including performances at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Midlands Arts Centre and at the Royal Court Theatre, London – as well as at the Royal Shakespeare Company, alongside the revival of Maydays.
This edition also includes a new introduction by the author.
‘Sprawling, cerebral, and at times unflinching in its dissection of radicalism at both ends of the political spectrum, Maydays tells an epic, decades-spanning story of youthful idealism colliding with human nature… this timely revised version draws out moments of resonance between the seismic political shifts of the late sixties, and the polarising uncertainty of the present’
— The Stage (on the 2018 revival of Maydays)
‘One of distinguished playwright David Edgar’s most coruscating gems… an invaluable historical treatise, Maydays undoubtedly possesses a timely resonance’
— Telegraph (on the 2018 production of Maydays)
‘David Edgar’s magnificent new play for the Royal Shakespeare Company is an epic, brilliantly plotted piece of writing that takes revolution as its theme’
— The Financial Times (on the 1983 production of Maydays))
‘Witty, but never cynical… as charming as it is challenging’
— The Times on Trying It On