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A&C Black, Apr 27, 2010 - Drama - 101 pages

Canary is multi-award winning playwright Jonathan Harvey's long-awaited return to the stage: a deeply moving, funny, unflinching, and often magical story about love, honesty and being brave enough to sing out at the top of your voice - with style.

In 1960s Liverpool two lovers hide their homosexuality in the closet, then go their separate ways. While pits close and dole queues grow, a couple of runaways find Heaven in 1980s London. And today the paparazzi chase a love story that could tear a family apart. Then a grieving mother gets lost up a mountain, with a vicar for some dubious consolation.

With a unique richness of texture and range, Canary combines pathos and humour with a wildly ambitious scope crossing decades through cyclical family histories. The diverse character list includes a primetime TV host, Queen Isabella, Eleanor Rigby, an 'aversion therary' doctor, Mary Whitehouse and striking miners. Skilfully pulling these wide-ranging threads together, Canary provides a social overview of Britain during the last 50 years, with a focus on the struggle against homophobia. Jonathan Harvey's trademark style of warmth, poignancy, humour and imagination is obvious in this epic, Liverpudlian Angels in America for the 21st century.


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About the author (2010)

Jonathan Harvey is an award-winning playwright whose plays include: The Cherry Blossom Tree (Liverpool Playhouse Studio) Wildfire (Royal Court); Beautiful Thing (Bush Theatre, London and Donmar Warehouse/Duke of York's), John Whiting Award; Babies (National Theatre Studio/Royal Court), George Devine Award and Evening Standard's Most Promising Playwright Award; Boom Bang-A-Bang (Bush Theatre); Hushabye Mountain (ETT/Hampstead) and Out in the Open (Hampstead/Birmingham Rep). Television and film work includes: West End Girls (Carlton); Beautiful Thing (Channel Four); Gimme Gimme Gimme (BBC).

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