Two modern feminist classics by a writer who was amongst the extraordinary generation of British female playwrights to emerge in the 1980s.
‘McIntyre’s first Royal Court play, Low Level Panic, [is] a deft and funny all-female three-hander, set in a bathroom… The play was directed in 1988 by Nancy Meckler with Caroline Quentin, Lorraine Brunning and Alaine Hickmott in the principal roles. The panic of the title is provoked by omnipresent pornography and a sexual assault on one of the characters. But the play’s originality and boldness lie in its treatment of the characters’ complex relationships with their own sexual fantasies, their bodies and each other.
‘In McIntyre’s next play, My Heart’s a Suitcase, which had its premiere at the Royal Court in 1990, the sense of invasion felt by the two female central characters is dramatised by characters called Pest and Luggage, who burst unpredictably through the walls of the seaside flat in which the play is set. … McIntyre’s theatrical imagination [is] matched by an unsentimental but sympathetic portrayal of women trying to make sense of their place in a threatening and intrusive world.
‘Low Level Panic won the Samuel Beckett award, while My Heart’s a Suitcase earned McIntyre the Evening Standard’s most promising playwright award, with both plays quickly entering the feminist theatre canon.’ David Edgar, The Guardian
‘[McIntyre is] a writer of peculiar imaginative promise’
‘a fiercely modern parable of modern materialism – set in a grand, empty seaside flat, where two friends are spending the weekend’
— Financial Times on ‘My Heart’s A Suitcase’
‘Low level panic is the constant fear that runs through women’s lives like a cold underground stream, its source is male violence and it is fed by tributaries of pornography. Clare McIntyre’s play looks at the repercussions this fear has on the lives of three women’
— Time Out on ‘Low Level Panic’