Contemporary English Plays Edenís Empire; Alaska; Shades; A Day at the Racists; The Westbridge

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2015-04-23
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Methuen Drama

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Edited and introduced by leading cultural and theatre critic Aleks Sierz, this bold and urgent collection of contemporary plays by England's newest and most relevant young writers explores the various cultures and identities of a nation that is at once traditional, nationalistic and multicultural.

Eden's Empire, by James Graham is an uncompromising political thriller exploring the events of the Suez Crisis, and the tragic story of its flawed hero Ė Churchill's golden boy and heir apparent, Anthony Eden.

Alaska, by D. C. Moore features Frank, an ordinary bloke who likes smoking, history and playing House of the Dead 3. He can put up with his job on a cinema kiosk until a new supervisor arrives who is younger than him. And Asian.

A Day at the Racists, by Anders Lustgarten is a timely examination of the rise of the BNP which attempts to understand why people might be drawn to the BNP and diagnoses the deeper cause of that attraction.

Shades, by Alia Bano shows Sabrina, a single girl-about-town, who is seeking Mr Right in a world where traditional and liberal values sit side-by-side, but rarely see eye-to-eye.

The Westbridge, by Rachel De-lahay begins with the accusation of a black teenager which sparks riots on South London streets. Among it all, a couple from very different backgrounds navigate the minefield between them and their disparate but coexisting neighbourhood.

Author Biography

Aleks Sierz FRSA is Visiting Professor at Rose Bruford College, London, UK, and author of In-Yer-Face Theatre: British Drama Today, John Osborne's Look Back in Anger, Rewriting the Nation: British Theatre Today and Modern British Playwriting: The 1990s. He also works as a journalist, broadcaster, lecturer and theatre critic.

James Graham
won the Catherine Johnson Award for the Best Play 2007 for Eden's Empire. His previous plays include Albert's Boy (recipient of a Pearson Playwriting Bursary) Little Madam (Finborough), Tory Boyz (Soho Theatre), The Man (Finborough), The Whisky Taster (Bush), Sons of York (Finborough) suddenlossofdignity.com (Bush) and This House (National Theatre). James is writer-in-residence at the Finborough Theatre and also writes for TV and film.

D.C Moore was born in 1980 in Duston, Northamptonshire. He took part in the Royal Court's Young Writer's Programme and his first full length play Alaska was produced there in 2007. In 2008 Alaska was awarded the Tom Erhardt Award for promising new playwright by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation. Moore's other plays include The Empire (2010), Honest (2010), Town (2010) and The Swan (2011).

Anders Lustgarten is Pearson Playwright-in-Residence at the Finborough Theatre, where his first two plays, The Insurgents (2007) and Enduring Freedom (2008), were produced. Other work includes The Punishment Stories, (shortlisted for the 2007 Verity Bargate Award), an adaptation of Slawomir Mrozek's The Police (BAC 2007), The Sugar-Coated Bullets of the Bourgeoisie (2010) for the National Theatre Studio and If You Don't Let Us Dream Then We Won't Let You Sleep (Royal Court, 2013). Anders is a political activist, has taught on Death Row, been arrested by the Turkish secret police, and holds a PhD in Chinese politics from the University of California. He also won the inaugural Harold Pinter Playwrights Award with a commission from the Royal Court in 2011.

Alia Bano studied English at Queen Mary, University of London, and taught A Level and GCSE English in Haringey. She joined the Royal Court's Young Writers' Programme in 2004. Her early work was read at Theatre Royal, Stratford East during the BritAsia Festival in 2005. She was subsequently invited to join Soho Theatre's Core Writing Group, and took part in the Royal Court's Unheard Voices programme in 2008. Her work for the stage includes Behind the Image, Gap, Hens, Rough Cuts, and Shades.

Rachel De-lahay's first full-length play, The Westbridge, was the joint-winner of the 2010 Alfred Fagon Award and was produced in Autumn 2011 in the Jerwood Theatre Upstairs at the Royal Court Theatre. She subsequently won the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Awards after the success of her play Routes.

Table of Contents

Introduction, by Aleks Sierz
Eden's Empire, by James Graham
Alaska, by D. C. Moore
A Day at the Racists, by Anders Lustgarten
Shades, by Alia Bano
The Westbridge, by Rachel De-lahay

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