Two powerful expressionist plays from the early career of one of the twentieth century’s most significant writers.
The Hairy Ape is a nightmarish condemnation of the dehumanising effects of industrialisation on the American people.
Robert ‘Yank’ Smith, an animalistic stoker, breaks free from his engine-room confines when he is spurned by the glamorous society woman, Mildred Douglas. Looking to find his free self out in the ‘real’ world, Yank goes on the rampage – but how much will his freedom cost him? And is there really any such thing?
First staged at the Playwrights’ Theater, New York, in March 1922.
All God’s Chillun Got Wings is a vigorous social commentary based around a violently dysfunctional mixed-race marriage.
Ella is the neurotically jealous white wife of Jim, a driven, charismatic black man. She sabotages his career, effectively destroying him, before her frenzy lapses into remorseless dependency.
First performed in 1924 at the Provincetown Playhouse, New York, in a production starring Paul Robeson.
This edition includes a full introduction, biographical sketch and chronology.
‘A stark and forceful piece’
— Exuent Magazine
‘O’Neill’s play is an existentialist rollercoaster powered by a poetry’
— Time Out
‘In a time of austerity and job losses the playwright’s rant against the ruling classes, giving voice to the embittered working man, does not go amiss’