Oliver Twist

‘It is a solemn thing to hear, in a darkened room, the voice of a child…’ Using Charles Dickens’ original words, a handful of tunes stolen from the vivid world of Victorian music-hall, and a chameleon ensemble of thirteen actors, Neil Bartlett’s powerful version of Oliver Twist brings the dark underbelly of nineteenth-century London back to bold theatrical life. The unforgettable characters – Fagin, Nancy, Bill Sikes, and the Artful Dodger – inhabit a world filled with images of danger and fear, innocence and hope; a world seen through the eyes of an astonished child. This version was first performed at the Lyric Hammersmith in 2004.
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Ourselves Alone

The play centres on three sisters living without men in Andersonstown in the 1980s. They are the wives and girlfriends of prisoners. Anne Devlin lived in Andersonstown from 1963 to 1971. She says she simply imagined herself back into that situation. One of the sisters, Freida is a hairdresser but aspires to be a songwriter Josie is a political activist and Donna, a mother, is waiting for their brother to come out of prison. Their father is called Malachy, and the brother prisoner is Liam. The newcomer is Joe. Freida is in conflict with her father over a friendship with John McDermot and at the heart of Josie’s story is the questioning or interrogation of Joe’s motives.
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Thérèse Raquin

One of Zola's most famous realist novels, Therese Raquin is a clinically observed, sinister tale of adultery and murder among the lower classes in nineteenth-century Parisian society. Set in the claustrophobic atmosphere of a dingy haberdasher's shop in the passage du Pont-Neuf in Paris, this powerful novel tells how the heroine and her lover, Laurent, kill her husband, Camille, but are subsequently haunted by visions of the dead man, and prevented from enjoying the fruits of their crime. Zola's shocking tale dispassionately dissects the motivations of his characters--mere "human beasts", who kill in order to satisfy their lust--and stands as a key manifesto of the French Naturalist movement, of which the author was the founding father. Published in 1867, this is Zola's most important work before the Rougon-Macquart series and introduces many of the themes that can be traced through the later novel cycle.
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The Merchant of Venice

Antonio, the merchant of Venice, and Shylock the money-lender have struck a bargain whereby Shylock will lend Antonio some money provided that if Antonio cannot repay him, Shylock can claim a pound of Antonio's flesh. Antonio's ships are lost and Shylock seeks to enforce the contract. As Jew conflicts with Christian, the ancient argument for justice tempered by mercy is pleaded by Portia.
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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Escaping the Athenian court to marry, Hermia and Lysander take refuge in a nearby wood. There, too, are Helena and Demetrius and the King and Queen of the fairies, Oberon and Titania. Oberon orchestrates a series of mischievous and magical tricks by which love is transformed, misplaced, deceived, revealed and finally, restores. This edition of the text includes notes, a glossary and an introduction.
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The Shape of Things

When nerdy Adam Sorenson, an English Literature major at Mercy, a fictitious Midwestern college, meets Evelyn Ann Thompson, an attractive graduate art student, at the local museum where he works, his life takes an unexpected turn. Never having the best success with women, he is flattered when Evelyn shows an interest in him and, at Evelyn's suggestion, gets a new hairstyle, begins a regular exercise regimen, eats healthier foods, dresses more stylishly, acts more confident and dominant, and begins wearing contact lenses instead of his usual eyeglasses. These initial changes regarding Adam's physical appearance are well received by Adam's friend, Phillip, and Phillip's fiancee, Jenny. Jenny takes such a liking to Adam's new physique that she makes a move on Adam and the two share a passionate kiss.  Later, Evelyn cajoles Adam into undergoing plastic surgery to fix his large and nautrallymisshapen nose and succeeds in persuading him to cut himself off from Phillip and Jenny, whose relationship she ruins.
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Shakespeare The Basics, Second Edition.

The way in which Shakespeare's plays are studied has undergone considerable change in recent years. The new edition of this bestselling guide, aimed quarely at the student new to Shakespeare, is based on the exciting new approaches shaping Shakespeare studies. This volume provides a thorough general introduction to the plays and a refreshingly clear guide to:
  • Shakespeare's language
  • The plays as performance texts
  • The cultural and political contexts of the plays
  • Early modern theatre practice
  • New understandings of the major genres
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The Arabian Nights

Mary Zimmerman's acclaimed adaptation weaves ancient tales of wonder into a rich and poetic testament to the transformational power of storytelling.  King Shahryar marries, loves, then kills a young woman each night -  until he encounters Scheherezade. For 1001 nights, he delays her murder as he eagerly awaits her next tale of love, lust, hilarity or sorrow. The final scene brings the audience back to modern-day Baghdad, and distant air-raid sirens warn of the danger threatening the land that produced the encyclopedia of human experience, imagination, and poetry that is The Arabian Nights.
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Far Away

In the first scene of Far Away, a girl is questioning her aunt about having seen her uncle hitting people with an iron bar. By the end of the play, several years later, the whole world is at war -  including birds and animals. The girl has returned to her aunt’s and is taking refuge. She describes her journey. There were piles of bodies and if you stopped to find out there was one to by coffee or one killed by pins, they were killed by heroin, petrol, chainsaws, hairspray, bleach, foxgloves, the smell of smoke was where we were burning the grass that wouldn't serve.
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Chinglish is a hilarious comedy about the challenges of doing business in a country whose language - and underlying cultural assumptions - can be worlds apart from those of the West. The play tells the adventures of Daniel, an American business-everyman from the Midwest, who hopes to establish his family's sign-making business in China, only to learn what is lost and found in translation.
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