Top Girls: With Commentary and Notes (Open University Set Book)

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9780413644701: Top Girls: With Commentary and Notes (Open University Set Book)

The dialectic of Top Girls is wide-ranging, covering universal dilemmas facing women, but focuses on  major themes of contemporary life. The critique of feminist ambitions is a clear central theme and Churchill's selection of women from the past and modern world shows sympathy for the feminist cause and disdain for the male oppressor, but there is no sentimentality an no comfortable solution is offered for their problems.

Marlene hosts a dinner party in a London restaurant to celebrate her promotion to managing director of 'Top Girls' employment agency. Her guests are five women from the past: Isabella Bird (1831- 1904) - the adventurous traveller; Lady Nijo (b1258) - the mediaeval courtesan who became a Buddhist nun and travelled on foot through Japan; Dull Gret, who as Dulle Griet in a Bruegel painting, led a crowd of women on a charge through hell; Pope Joan - the transvestite early female pope and last but not least Patient Griselda, an obedient wife out of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. As the evening continues we are involved with the stories of all five women and the impending crisis in Marlene's own life. A classic of contemporary theatre, Churchill's play is seen as a landmark for a new generation of playwrights. It was premiered by the Royal Court in 1982.

This volume contains a chronology of the playwright's life and work; an introduction giving the background to the play; a discussion of the various interpretations, notes on individual words and phrases and photographs from stage productions.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Caryl Churchill is a major contemporary British dramatist and features prominently in numerous books on modern "Feminist" or "Political" theatre, but she is careful not to be pinned down to any limiting definitions. The variety of her subject matter, the constant experiment with form and her challenge to conventional role models defy attempts to restrict the scope of her drama.

From AudioFile:

When the curtain rises, Marlene has just gotten a promotion and is celebrating with a group of overachieving women of history. Next comes a montage of her at the employment agency where she works. Finally, comes a tense reunion with her sister and the daughter Marlene abandoned. This celebrated allegorical stage play of 1982 presents several difficulties for the audio producer. It requires eight women on mike at once, and much of the dialogue overlaps. Without visual cues, how to keep things clear? It helps to have a terrific cast, such as this one. Unfortunately, the director's focus on his live audience works better for them than for his audiobook listeners, who may experience moments of confusion. Y.R. AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright AudioFile, Portland, Maine

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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Churchill, Caryl
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