Nuclear War & The Songs for Wende - Modern Plays (Paperback)Simon Stephens (author)
- In stock online
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 72
Weight: 75 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 4 mm
By pushing past language, Nuclear War resists definite interpretation. It's felt before it's fully understood: a swirl of sensations and associations, impressions that race off before you've quite grasped them. Images stick in your mind's eye: figures gorging on tangerines, bricks piling up in somebody's arms. Meaning melts and multiplies. At the Royal Court, where writing rules supreme, that's radical. -- Matt Trueman * Whatsonstage *
Our theatre gains from being sporadically hosed down by decontaminating jets of lyricism. I thought of TS Eliot at the sight of the Fury-like quartet of anonymous figures (here two male, two female) who stalk and taunt this fear-filled woman with impassive faces (obscured at points by gas-masks and stockings) and eerie synchronised motions (zombie-lurchy, spasmodic-twitchy, sexually-thrusty). "I can't bear this any more," she says. "You have to bear this," they chorus -- Dominic Cavendish * Telegraph *
The prolific Stephens, who has had major mainstream success with his adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time, is saluted for the relish with [which] he spans an English and a European sensibility in plays such as Three Kingdoms ... What follows is a physicalised poem of urban alienation. -- Paul Taylor * Independent *
The modern city is like a jungle, but it's also a dislocated, fragmented, cruelly capitalist place. Nuclear War isn't about nuclear war, but it does offer a sickly vision of an atomised, alienated society, a more visceral version of what Stephens was also exploring in Carmen Disruption. Staggering around the city, the woman desperately seeks connection, affection and sexual fulfilment. But the ending, as she returns to her house alone, perhaps suggests that she has to reconnect with herself first - and it is through saying goodbye and letting go of the lost loved one that she is also finally released. -- Holly Williams * Exeunt *
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