1900-1910

Share

Plays

An Anti-Suffragist or The Other Side

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

A monologue about an inexperienced young woman, An Anti-Suffragist or The Other Side is a clever monologue describing the growing incomprehension of a critic of the Suffragette movement as she struggles to undersand why she was against votes for women in the first place.

Described in her introduction by Naomi Paxton as ‘charming, clever . . . a fantastic monologue for an actress, full of character, well written and enjoyable to play’, An Anti-Suffragist or The Other Side was first published by the Actresses’ Franchise League (AFL) in 1910.

audio The Cherry Orchard

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Chekhov’s masterful last play, The Cherry Orchard, is a work of timeless, bittersweet beauty about the fading fortunes of an aristocratic Russian family and their struggle to maintain their status in a changing world. Alternately touching and farcical, this subtle, intelligent play stars the incomparable Marsha Mason.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance starring: Marsha Mason as Madame Lyubov Andreyevna Ranyevskaya Hector Elizondo as Leonid Andreyevich Gayev Michael Cristofer as Yermolay Alekseyevich Lopakhin Jennifer Tilly as Dunyasha (Avdotya Fyodorovna) Joey Slotnick as Semyon Panteleyevich Yepikhodov Christy Keefe as Anya Ranyevskaya Amy Pietz as Varya Ranyevskaya Jordan Baker as Charlotta Ivanovna Jeffrey Jones as Boris Borisovich Semyonov-Pischick Charles Durning as Feers John Chardiet as Yasha Tim DeKay as Pyotr Sergeyevich Trofimov John Chardiet as Passer-By

Translated and adapted by Frank Dwyer and Nicholas Saunders. Directed by Rosalind Ayres. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Featuring: Jordan Baker, Jon Chardiet, Michael Cristofer, Tim DeKay, Charles Durning, Hector Elizondo,Jeffrey Jones, Christy Keefe, Marsha Mason, Amy Pietz, Joey Slotnick, Jennifer Tilly

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance starring: Marsha Mason as Madame Lyubov Andreyevna Ranyevskaya Hector Elizondo as Leonid Andreyevich Gayev Michael Cristofer as Yermolay Alekseyevich Lopakhin Jennifer Tilly as Dunyasha (Avdotya Fyodorovna) Joey Slotnick as Semyon Panteleyevich Yepikhodov Christy Keefe as Anya Ranyevskaya Amy Pietz as Varya Ranyevskaya Jordan Baker as Charlotta Ivanovna Jeffrey Jones as Boris Borisovich Semyonov-Pischick Charles Durning as Feers John Chardiet as Yasha Tim DeKay as Pyotr Sergeyevich Trofimov John Chardiet as Passer-By

Translated and adapted by Frank Dwyer and Nicholas Saunders. Directed by Rosalind Ayres. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles.

Featuring: Jordan Baker, Jon Chardiet, Michael Cristofer, Tim DeKay, Charles Durning, Hector Elizondo,Jeffrey Jones, Christy Keefe, Marsha Mason, Amy Pietz, Joey Slotnick, Jennifer Tilly

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance starring: Marsha Mason as Madame Lyubov Andreyevna Ranyevskaya Hector Elizondo as Leonid Andreyevich Gayev Michael Cristofer as Yermolay Alekseyevich Lopakhin Jennifer Tilly as Dunyasha (Avdotya Fyodorovna) Joey Slotnick as Semyon Panteleyevich Yepikhodov Christy Keefe as Anya Ranyevskaya Amy Pietz as Varya Ranyevskaya Jordan Baker as Charlotta Ivanovna Jeffrey Jones as Boris Borisovich Semyonov-Pischick Charles Durning as Feers John Chardiet as Yasha Tim DeKay as Pyotr Sergeyevich Trofimov John Chardiet as Passer-By Translated and adapted by Frank Dwyer and Nicholas Saunders. Directed by Rosalind Ayres. Recorded before a live audience at the Skirball Cultural Center, Los Angeles."

Featuring: Jordan Baker, Jon Chardiet, Michael Cristofer, Tim DeKay, Charles Durning, Hector Elizondo,Jeffrey Jones, Christy Keefe, Marsha Mason, Amy Pietz, Joey Slotnick, Jennifer Tilly

The Cherry Orchard (trans. Murphy)

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

In Chekhov’s tragicomedy of inertia and loss – perhaps his most popular play – an aristocratic family cling to their sheltered lives in a picturesque estate while the forces of social change beat on the walls outside.

Completely bankrupt, Lyubov Ranyevskaya returns with her daughter Anya from Paris to her childhood home, to the beautiful cherry orchard outside the house and to her grief. The estate is paralysed by debt, but she and her billiard-playing brother refuse to save their finances by having the vast orchard cut down to build holiday cottages. Hopelessly paralysed, incapable of decisive action, they put the estate up for auction, and find their world is brought crashing down by powerful forces rooted deep in history and in the society around them

Chekhov maintained that the play was a cheerful and frivolous comedy, but audiences have found its tragedy irresistible. The comedy is poignant; the tone is ambiguous, both farcical and piercing. While remaining faithful to the original, Tom Murphy’s adaptation reimagines the events of this classic play in a language that resonates with wit, clarity and verve. It was first performed in 2004 at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

The Dance of Death (Conor McPherson)

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Conor McPherson's adaptation of August Strindberg’s 1900 play The Dance of Death, about a titanic battle of wills between a husband and wife, was first performed at the Trafalgar Studios, London, on 13 December 2012.

On an isolated island, military captain Edgar and his wife Alice live a bitter life, their marriage soured by hatred. When the possibility of redemption and escape arrives for Alice in the shape of their former comrade Kurt, it seems that Edgar is prepared to use his very last breath to make their lives a living hell.

The premiere at Trafalgar Studios was part of the Donmar Trafalgar season designed to showcase the work of graduates from the theatre’s Resident Assistant Director scheme. The production was directed by Titus Halder and designed by Richard Kent, with Indira Varma as Alice, Kevin R. McNally as the Captain (Edgar) and Daniel Lapaine as Kurt.

The play was first performed in the US at Writers Theatre, Glencoe, Chicago, on 1 April 2014 in a production directed by Henry Wishcamper.

Deirdre of the Sorrows

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Deirdre of the Sorrows is based on an ancient Irish myth, a story of a beautiful young woman, Deirdre, and her equally handsome lover Naisi, one of three brothers sworn to protect each other - and the young lovers - from Deirdre's betrothed, the ageing king Conchubhor.

Almost finished upon Synge's premature death, and published posthumously after revisions by Synge's fiancée, the actress Mary 'Molly' Algood, and poet and theatre-manager W. B. Yeats, Deirdre of the Sorrows is a vivid reimagining of the Deirdre myth, complete with Synge's distinctive lyric style.

audio The Doctor's Dilemma

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

The blowhards, the know-it-alls, the scrupulous and the impecunious are all targets for Shaw’s incisive wit in his classic satire of the medical profession. A well-respected physician is forced to choose whom he shall save: a bumbling friend or the ne’er-do-well husband of the woman he loves.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Jane Carr, Gregory Cooke, Kenneth Danziger, Roy Dotrice, Martin Jarvis, Jennifer Dundas Lowe, Simon Templeman, Douglas Weston and Paxton Whitehead.

Includes a conversation with Dr. Neil Wenger, the Director of the Healthcare Ethics Center at the University of California-Los Angeles

The Doctor’s Dilemma is part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series featuring science-themed plays. Major funding for the Relativity Series is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to enhance public understanding of science and technology in the modern world.

Featuring: Jane Carr, Gregory Cooke, Kenneth Danziger, Roy Dotrice, Martin Jarvis, Jennifer Dundas Lowe, Simon Templeman, Douglas Weston, Paxton Whitehead

A Dream Play (Caryl Churchill)

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Caryl Churchill's version of August Strindberg's 1901 drama A Dream Play was written for the director Katie Mitchell, based on a literal translation of the Swedish original by Charlotte Barslund. It was first performed, with additional material by Katie Mitchell and the company, in the Cottesloe auditorium of the National Theatre, London, on 15 February 2005 (previews from 4 February).

A young woman, Agnes (the daughter of the gods), comes from another world to see if life is really as difficult as people make it out to be. She meets a host of people and experiences many kinds of human suffering. The play follows a dreamlike logic, with characters merging into each other and locations changing in an instant. A locked door becomes an obsessively recurrent image. As Strindberg himself wrote in his Preface, he wanted 'to imitate the disjointed yet seemingly logical shape of a dream. Everything can happen, everything is possible and probable. Time and place do not exist.'

In her introduction to the published edition (Nick Hern Books, 2005), Churchill writes 'on the whole this version stays close to the original. What I've mostly done is tighten the dialogue and cut out a few chunks. ... I've cut things that seemed repetitive; sometimes I've cut bits that just seemed to me or Katie not to work very well. And I've cut the meaning of life. ... When it turns out there's nothing behind the fridge door, the daughter of the gods promises the writer she'll tell him the secret when they're alone. What she says may have seemed more original or daring when Strindberg wrote it, but seems a bit of an anticlimax to us. So in this version she whispers it to the writer and we never know what it is. But was telling us the meaning of life one of the main points of the play for Strindberg? I hope not. I do feel abashed at cutting another writer's work; directors have fewer qualms.'

The National Theatre premiere, directed by Katie Mitchell and directed by Vicki Mortimer, was performed by an ensemble company comprising Mark Arends, Anastasia Hille, Kristin Hutchinson, Sean Jackson, Charlotte Roach, Dominic Rowan, Justin Salinger, Susie Trayling, Lucy Whybrow and Angus Wright.

A Flea in Her Ear

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Georges Feydeau’s A Flea in Her Ear (La puce à l’oreille) is a classic French farce, first performed at the Théâtre des Nouveautés in Paris on 2 March 1907.

Stephen Mulrine, in his introduction to this translation by Kenneth McLeish, describes A Flea in Her Ear as 'perhaps Feydeau’s best-known play, certainly to English audiences, and its intricate choreography draws together two classic farce plots – that of the suspicious wife who sets a trap to expose her faithless partner, and the venerable comic device of mistaken identity. And the latter complicates the former to such a degree that by the end of Act II, the spectator is almost as exhausted, mentally, as Feydeau’s characters are, physically, by their manic pursuit of each other across the stage, in a flurry of whirling doors and spinning beds.'

Mulrine also observes that 'Feydeau’s plays are a form of perpetual motion, and almost impossible to summarise, but taken by itself, the mistaken identity plot is comparatively straightforward: the supposed unfaithful husband, Chandebise, bears an uncanny resemblance to a drunken porter, Poche (both parts are played by the same actor), and when circumstances bring the two into proximity, in the seedy Hotel Casablanca, all hell breaks loose. Those circumstances arise through the workings of the main plot, set in motion with the entry of the principal characters, midway through Act I, when Chandebise’s wife Raymonde confesses to her friend Lucienne that she suspects her husband of infidelity, while Chandebise himself, a little later, complains to Dr Finache about a worrying, and inexplicable, loss of sexual vigour.'

Her Vote

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Naomi Paxton writes: ‘Her Vote features a young suffragist whose plans to attend a political meeting are disrupted by an unexpected proposal from her young man. It is an unusual suffrage play as the character of the Girl, a suffragist, is portrayed rather more like that of an anti-suffragist. When questioned by the Clerk she is unable to elaborate on her views about the Suffrage and the issues surrounding it and instead responds by repeating words and phrases that she has heard but clearly doesn’t really understand. Her firm resolve at the beginning of the piece to attend a Suffrage Meeting that night counts for nothing when a much more desirable offer arises . . . the play provides an interesting male viewpoint on the movement, criticizing the Girl for wanting to be part of a political movement without really knowing about it or understanding it – a criticism more often levelled at anti-suffragists in suffrage drama.'

Her Vote was first performed at Terry’s Theatre, London, on 13 May 1909 and was first published the follwoing year by Samuel French.

How the Vote Was Won

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

In her introduction, Naomi Paxton writes: ‘How The Vote Was Won was and remains one of the most popular and well known suffrage plays. A brilliant ensemble piece, it is set in the living room of Horace and Ethel Cole in Brixton, London, on the day of a general women’s strike called by Suffragettes because the Government has said that women do not need votes as they are all looked after by men. All the women who have previously supported themselves agree to leave their jobs and homes and instead insist on support from their nearest male relative. As Horace’s female relatives arrive at his house one after the other, he comes to realize something must be done and rushes to Parliament, along with all the other men in London, to demand “Votes for Women” as soon as possible.'

How the Vote Was Won was first performed at the Royalty Theatre, London, on 13 April 1909, and was first published by The Woman’s Press that same year.