Levy Plays I

“Deborah Levy creates perfect jewels with her richly imaginative theatre … pioneering writing that has changed the form of our new drama” – City Limits

The early plays in this anthology, which I have titled ‘Cold Wars’, deal with aspects of the twentieth century – its holocausts and utopias.

Pushing the Prince into Denmark, The B File and Honey Baby reflect my interest in turbulent, hybrid cultural and sexual identities. Written in the 1990s, they echo much postmodern thinking, with its emphasis on fractured histories and geographies and its liberation from having to be authentic, whole and healed. I have rounded up these plays and pushed them under the sub-heading, ‘Post-Modern Knots: Identity’.

Macbeth-False Memories, written in 2000, expresses a mood both in myself and I think more generally in the UK – a feeling of being disconnected from any sense of shared values or ideological enthusiasms. I have subtitled this play, ‘The Loss of God and Politics’ because ultimately it is about a lack of feeling; a sort of millennial numbness, perhaps? – Preface from Levy: Plays 1

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Clam by Deborah Levy, presented by Blood Group (Oval).
If Deborah Levy were a man called Tom Stoppard, this would be hailed as a work of budding genius… This short exhilarating intellectual treat is not just an exercise in verbal and visual pyrotechnics but informed by a subtle yet uncompromising feminist outrage at the spectre of the male-dominated human species hell-bent on self destruction. But don’t be deceived. Clam is also a wonderful, rare evening of astringent humour, perfectly realised in Anna Furse’s precise direction and given an absurdist, surreal edge with every flicker and grimace of Blood Group’s Mine Kaylan–a galvanising female sprite–and Andrzej Borkowski, a performer new to me, who can epitomise a demented scientist, exploitative sculptor and enfeebled revolutionary leader with his heavy-lidded eyes and coil-springed body. A night of shattered shibboleths and totems, go before it’s too late – Carole Woddis, City Limits

Published by Methuen, 2000.

Agent: Sarah Chalfant SChalfant@wylieagency.com