Nativities

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb 1, 2012 - Drama - 128 pages
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Nativities is a darkly comic new play set in the wasteland of petty office politics, designated smoking areas and personal alienation.

Excited about her new job as administrative assistant at a call centre, Stella is eager to fit in with her workmates and they seem to like her too, especially when they find out how much they all have in common. It's really like a family at Scion Communications so when they discover that Stella is pregnant they're all delighted for her. However, as her pregnancy progresses, their certainties about love, relationships and parenthood are questioned and their lives both at work and at home begin to unravel.

Set somewhere between an Orwellian dystopian vision and an all too familiar contemporary reality, Cooper's writing turns a lens on everyday office life and how personalities are warped in its liminal space. Within the repeating motifs of the anonymity of the corporate existence, recurrent unvaried routines and ominously authoritative performance targets, the core of the play focuses on the sheer isolation and loneliness of the characters. The dialogue is overlapping, misunderstood and disconnected, and the characters are unable to communicate in spite of spending the majority of their waking lives together.

This kaleidoscopic dialogue and the slippery, shifting ground between the characters effectively creates a new language for the stage which is startlingly original. This is writing which is innovative, relevant, chilling and blackly funny.

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About the author (2012)

Zoe is a playwright and theatre practitioner who first came to Live Theatre's attention during Different Stages, the 2010 New Writing Festival. After graduating with an MPhil in Playwriting from the University of Birmingham in 2010 and the Royal Court Young Writers Programme, she went on to write short plays for Nabokov, Theatre503 and the Tristan Bates Theatre. Zoe has also recently been working with the National Theatre Studio developing a project based on the Strindberg play The Father and with the RSC studio on a new play. Nativities is Zoe's first full length play commission.

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