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Fen

Fen
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Caryl Churchill
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 64
Pub. Date: 1984
ISBN-10: 0573619158
ISBN-13: 9780573619151
Cast Size: 6 women, 1 man

About the Play:

Winner of the 1983-1984 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

Fen is a full-length drama by Caryl Churchill. Val wants more. Becky wants to be a hairdresser. Angela wants to escape. Shirley can't be doing with all the fuss everyone is making. In a world where roles are fixed and choices are few, Fen follows the interweaving lives of different generations of women, and questions our sense of entitlement as to what life should give us.

Fen takes place in England's swamp or "fen" country and looks a community of farmers and their complex relationships with each other, their work situation and their private lives and dreams, as well as the conflicts within themselves. In particular, we follow the story of Val, who leaves her husband and children to live with a farm worker, Frank. Other characters include Angela, the outsider who torments her stepdaughter Becky; Alice, who has turned to religion; Nell, who tries to assert her rights against the farmer; Shirley, who prides herself on keeping going. In a world where roles are fixed and choices are few, Fen follows the interweaving lives of different generations of women, and questions our sense of entitlement as to what life should give us. Exploring the relationship between aspiration and expectation, Fen looks at our connection with the work, the people, and the landscapes that hold us together. A community of working women with strong links to the past but living in a present where the land is owned by multinationals. Grafting, striving, finding their way.

Fen premiered in 1983 at the University of Essex Theatre, transferred to the Almeida Theatre in London and won the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honouring the best English-language women writers worldwide. Since then the play has been performed on tour in the UK, at The Public Theater in New York, and in regional repertory and college theatre productions.

Cast: 6 women, 1 man

What people say:

"Ms. Churchill has put together with grace and anger and a generous humor an evening almost entirely composed of wants." — The Sunday New York Times

"A wonderful and strange play; passionate, tense, and eloquent." — Village Voice

"Ms. Churchill...possesses one of the boldest theatrical imaginations to emerge in this decade who is amazingly enough plowing new ground in the theater with every new play." — The New York Times

About the Author:

Caryl Churchill is widely recognized as one of the UK's leading playwrights. She was born in London and after the Second World War her family emigrated to Montreal in Canada. She returned to England to attend Oxford University and graduated with a degree in English Literature. One of the most respected dramatists in the English-speaking world, she is an internationally known playwright whose work has been given major international theatrical awards throughout the world.

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