Plays Five

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Oberon Books Limited, 2009 - Drama - 278 pages
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"Howard Barker is one of the most significant and controversial dramatists of his time. His plays challenge, unsettle and expose. Both The Last Supper and Seven Lears exemplify Barker's way with great religious and literary stories, the first placing the wilful suicide of a Christ-like prophet, Lvov, in the context of modern chaos, illuminating his moral ambiguities with comic or painful parables, the second taking its inspiration from the significant absence in Shakespeare's play, that of Lear's wife, the queen whose murder is here discerned as the origin of the great family tragedy." "The execution of the Russian royal family in 1918 remains shrouded in mystery- not least that of the identity of two bodies discovered in the mass grave years after the event. In Hated Nightfall Barker's speculative imagination leads him to identify these as the children's tutor, Dancer, and a recalcitrant servant, Jane. Dancer is perhaps Barker's archetypal hero, febrile, iconoclastic, yet in --

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