1991-2000

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Plays

2nd May 1997

Nick Hern Books
Type: Text

Jack Thorne's play 2nd May 1997 is a drama set over the course of the 1997 UK General Election in which the Labour Party under the leadership of Tony Blair won a landslide victory over the Conservatives. The play presents three separate personal stories from different points on the political spectrum as the scale of Labour's victory becomes clear. It was first performed at the Bush Theatre, London, on 8 September 2009 in a co-production with nabokov theatre company, in association with Watford Palace Theatre and Mercury Theatre Colchester.

The action takes place in three bedrooms over the course of the night following the election, and the morning after. In Part One, set just before midnight, Tory MP Robert prepares to attend the electoral count. With defeat looming large, he fears becoming a forgotten man, while his wife Marie counts the cost of her sacrifice to politics. In Part Two, set in the early hours of the morning, Lib Dem footsoldier Ian has brought home party-crasher Sarah from an election get-together, but they’re about to connect in a way neither of them expected. Lastly, in Part Three, teenage best friends Jake and Will wake up to a new political reality, with a new set of Cabinet ministers to memorise before their A-level Politics class. Jake dreams of Number 10 and a life in politics, while Will dreams of Jake.

In his introduction to Jack Thorne Plays: One (Nick Hern Books, 2014), Thorne writes: '2nd May 1997 was and is my attempt to write a political play without the politics. ... I wanted to tell the story of that election from all sides. I was also frustrated by my inability to write a play about anyone else but me, so doing a triptych – inspired by David Eldridge’s Under the Blue Sky – felt like an opportunity to force myself outside of my comfort zone. Three political parties, three love stories, one night.'

The Bush Theatre premiere was directed by George Perrin and designed by Hannah Clark. It was performed by James Barrett, Geoffrey Beevers, Linda Broughton, Jamie Samuel, Hugh Skinner and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The production then embarked on a regional UK tour.

audio Abundance

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

From the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Crimes of the Heart comes this poignant but unromanticized story of the hard lives of pioneers on the high plains of Wyoming in the 1860's. Macon and Bess are two mail-order brides, lured to the West by the promise of new beginnings through marriage to men they’ve never met. While waiting for their respective husbands-to-be, one bubbling with optimism, the other mousy and plain, the two women become instant best friends. As Abundance follows the two women through their friendship and adventures for the next 25 years, this Western epic unearths the dark underside of American mythology.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Ed Begley Jr., Gary Cole, Amy Madigan, Steven Weber and JoBeth Williams.

Featuring: Ed Begley Jr., Gary Cole, Amy Madigan, Steven Weber, JoBeth Williams

audio The Actor Retires

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Steppenwolf Theatre Company playwright and actor Bruce Norris presents a hilarious comedy in which an actor decides to end his career, burn his headshots and resumés, and become a serious furniture maker.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Bruce Norris, D.W. Moffett, Lucy Childs, Christopher Donahue, Kevin Hurley, Amy Morton, Susan Nussbaum and William Peterson

Featuring: Lucy Childs, Christopher Donahue, Kevin Hurley, D.W. Moffett, Amy Morton, Bruce Norris, Susan Nussbaum, William Petersen

After Darwin

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

Millie, a director, discusses with her actors, Ian and Tom, how to interpret two famous historical figures from the nineteenth century. It's 1831. The naturalist Charles Darwin is invited to travel with Robert Fitzroy into uncharted waters off the coast of South America aboard 'The Beagle'. Their five year journey is fraught with philosophical and personal tensions. Fitzroy, a staunch Christian, has faith in the unquestionable authority of the Bible; Darwin begins to explore a more radical vision, his theory of natural selection. A meditation on history and human relationships, After Darwin links past and present through these five characters, and raises timeless questions about faith, friendship and how we interpret the past.

After Darwin was first performed in July 1998, at Hampstead Theatre, London.

After Easter

Faber and Faber
Type: Text

After Easter is not a political play, rather a psychological play – inevitably funny. It is a contemporary portrait of a woman who reaches that point in her life when she will either grow or fade, when she will either continue to live in her lesser personality or make that inner marriage which will allow her to enter the mainstream of her larger existence, and, hopefully, swim.

The exile, Greta, having turned away from everything that once could have been called her identity – including her religion – allows the ghosts to call her home to the north of Ireland and to her family. In doing so she finds herself confronting the identity that she has wilfully excluded for so long.

audio Aliens in America

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Contemporary satirist Sandra Tsing Loh spins a darkly comic, autobiographical tale of growing up middle class Chinese-German in Southern California. This witty monologue is for sons and daughters everywhere who feel that their parents must have been beamed to earth from another planet.

An L.A. Theatre Works solo performance featuring Sandra Tsing Loh.

Featuring: Sandra Tsing Loh

All of You Mine

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

All of you Mine is a mysterious drama set in a mining community, near 'any one of fourteen ex-pit villages around Doncaster, South Yorkshire, whose pits were closed either as a planned programme, or as a direct result of the 1984 miners' strike.'

Twelve years on from the mining accident which precipitated the closure of the mine and the breaking of the strike, a memorial is being erected to the five men who died. The Cade family lost and gained much from that accident: daughter Verna, now 37, lost the father of her son, while her older brother Danum gained the site for the garden centre which he still runs prosperously at the play's opening. Meanwhile, at the head of the family stands their half-blind mother Cissy, who sees more, and knows more, than she is willing to share freely.

This mysterious family drama, which slowly builds to the revelation that the disaster may not have been so accidental, was described at the time as an eloquent lament for an eclipsed mining community. It premiered at the Bush theatre, London, in 1997.

All Over Lovely

Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

All Over Lovely is a two-character play, which frames a furious debate about politicising feminism and sexuality and darts between the intellectual and the deeply personal.

Two women who grew up together meet before a funeral. One of them maintains defiantly that lipstick and a Porsche is not a betrayal of feminism; the other’s anarchist principles have somehow turned into an organic fruit and vegetable company who supply to Sainsbury’s. Their conversation – sometimes vicious, sometimes comic, sometimes loving – reveals a relationship composed of childhood jealousies, adolescent sexual awakening, politicised lesbianism and feminist compromise. Dowie’s crackling, looping dialogue attacks constructions of femininity, love and success in this lithe and razor-sharp play.

All Over Lovely was first performed at the Traverse Theatre in 1996.

audio American Appetites

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

L.A. Theatre Works presents the exclusive dramatization of Joyce Carol Oates’ best-selling novel. In American Appetites, the façade of an affluent suburban couple crumbles under the weight of tragedy and scandal. When Ian McCullough accidentally pushes his wife through a plate glass window during an argument, the American dream turns into a nightmare. A sophisticated, witty and chilling tale.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Lisa Akey, Keith Carradine, Alastair Duncan, Paul Eiding, Anna Gunn, Dan Lauria, Jean Louisa Kelly, Frank Muller, B.J. Ward, Elizabeth Ward Land, Liza Weil and Tegan West.

Featuring: Lisa Akey, Keith Carradine, Alastair Duncan, Paul Eiding, Anna Gunn, Dan Lauria, Jean Louisa Kelly, Frank Muller, B.J. Ward, Elizabeth Ward Land, Liza Weil, Tegan West

audio An American Daughter

LA Theatre Works
Type: Audio

Pulitzer-Prize winner Wendy Wasserstein spins a comic and moving tale about the pitfalls that await political appointees. As a respected health crusader and devoted wife and mother, Dr. Lyssa Hughes seems perfect for the role of U.S. Surgeon General, until a chance remark at a fashionable brunch sets off a media feeding frenzy.

An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring David Birney, Anna Gunn, Jamie Hanes, Gregory Itzin, Michael Malone, Kevin McCarthy, Mary McDonnell, Claudette Nevins and Denise Nicholas.

Featuring: David Birney, Anna Gunn, Jamie Hanes, Gregory Itzin, Michael Malone, Kevin McCarthy, Mary McDonnell, Claudette Nevins, Denise Nicholas