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Leaving Home

Leaving Home
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: David French
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN-10: 0573611882
ISBN-13: 9780573611889
Cast Size: 3 woman, 4 men

About the Play:

Leaving Home was named one of Canada's 100 Most Influential Books (Literary Review of Canada) and one of the 1,000 Most Essential Plays in the English Language (Oxford Dictionary of Theatre).

Leaving Home is a full-length drama by David French. The first play by one of the major playwrights in modern Canadian theatre, Leaving Home is a classic in Canadian drama. The first part of what has come to be known as The Mercer Family play cycle, Leaving Home tells the story of the Mercers, a Newfoundland family that has emigrated to Toronto and lost all sense of its place in the world.

Leaving Home is the first of five plays that David French wrote about the Mercers, a Newfoundland family who move to Toronto for a better life but ultimately never feel at home there. The Mercer family's cohesiveness is being torn asunder. The subtle threads of mutual understanding, confidence and trust have come unravelled. The key character is the patriarchal father, Jacob, a man obsessed with making his two sons good reflections of himself. A complex man, sometimes compassionate and often contradictory. He inspires rebellion in sons. Billy and Ben. Wife Mary remains loyal to her husband but wants her sons to be free to go their own way. The crisis takes place when Billy, the younger son, is about to be married to Kathy, pregnant and of another religion. But a greater shock is in store for Jacob son Ben tells him he is leaving home and going to rent a room at the young newlywed's place. Oedipal conflicts explode that marriage eve and the family is never the same again. Often praised for its warmth and universality, and Leaving Home remains an incredibly powerful drama that still resonates with its comedy and emotional power..

Leaving Home premiered in Toronto during Tarragon Theatre's first season in 1972. It has become a Canadian Classic: produced across the country and internationally, studied in universities and high schools, and named by the Oxford Dictionary of Theatre as one of the "1,000 Essential Plays in the English Language."

Cast: 3 woman, 4 men

What people say:

"A transplanted Newfoundlander, French never strayed far from the rich vein of family lore and tradition he mined to create these classics, including Leaving Home and Of the Fields, Lately. [In The Mercer Family Play Cycle] David French created the Canadian equivalents of Tennessee Williams's characters with their haunting, visceral, essential take on leaving home, politics, love and the eternal drama of families." — The Book of Lists

"Splendidly played … immensely moving … Universal." — Washington Post

"Solidly-fashioned powerful emotional drama … all of its characters have the quality of theatrical life … all prove worthy of our attention, understanding and laughter." — Globe and Mail

"A play of remarkable dynamic life … the lacerating quality of inter family warfare carries both superb comedy and powerful emotional force … an overwhelming dramatic experience." — The Toronto Star

About the Playwright:

David French (1939-2010) was one of Canada's most popular and critically-acclaimed playwrights. He is best remembered for the Mercer family plays, such as Leaving Home, which chronicle the lives of a Newfoundland family with humour and pathos. The Mercer plays have received hundreds of productions across North America, including a Broadway production of Of the Fields, Lately. This quintet of plays has also touched audiences in Europe, South America and Australia. His backstage comedy Jitters has been performed all over the continent, and most of his plays have had successful international runs, including two Broadway productions. In 1989, David French was inducted into the Newfoundland Arts Hall of Honour, and in 2001 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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