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Butley

Butley
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Simon Gray
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 78
Pub. Date: 1971
ISBN-10: 0573606609
ISBN-13: 9780573606601
Cast Size: 3 women, 4 men

About the Play:

Butley is a full-length dramatic comedy by Simon Gray. Butley, a university professor, shares his office and his flat with his former star pupil. He must face the ultimate breakdown of his marriage and his intense friendship with his roommate, all while entangled in petty university politics and student dissent. Butley presents a full-bodied character study of a brilliant soul in crisis.

Butley follows a university professor over the course of a disastrous day as he receives bad news from his wife, a fellow professor, and his protégé and close companion, to name a few. Dissipated, boozing university professor and terminal cynic, Ben Butley is having a monumentally bad day. So bad, he's making sure everyone else has a worse one. His estranged wife has taken up with the most boring man in London. His beloved protégé has found a new benefactor. And in an unprecedented act of betrayal even the English department's resident failure has a book deal. Despite the fact his life is crumbling around him, Butley remains his typical sarcastic and cynical self. His trusty arsenal – mischievous irony and gleeful trouble-making – have never failed him yet. Might they finally prove to be the weapons of his own tragic self-destruction? When he runs aground of the petty University hierarchy, Butley's ultimate fate is sealed. Butley is a razor sharp and darkly comic assault on the soft underbelly of academia.

Butley premiered in 1971 at the Criterion Theatre in London and went on to win the Evening Standard Award for Best Play in a production directed by Harold Pinter. The American premiere was in 1972 at the Morosco Theatre on Broadway in New York and was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. The play has been performed in regional, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 3 women, 4 men

What people say:

"The passage of 35 years has dulled neither the sting nor the wit of Butley. The best known of Simon Gray's plays set in the academic world remains a corrosively clever portrait of a brilliant man with a bankrupted soul." — Variety

"Could well join that distinguished gallery of human debris represented by Willie Loman, Jimmy Porter and Bill Maitland in post war drama." — Evening Standard

"Offers a rare, intelligent, diabolical evening of comedy." — Newhouse Newspapers

"Snaps and crackles with devastating wit and revealing insight. It is an evening of superb theatre, flawlessly represented." — WNEW Radio

"A marvelous comedy." — CBS-TV

About the Playwright:

Simon Gray (1936-2008) was a British playwright who authored of over thirty plays. He also wrote many plays for television and radio, several novels, and eight memoirs. Simon Gray was appointed CBE in 2005 for services to drama and literature.

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