Plot[ edit ] The play tells the story of Alice, who is in her twenties and living in a small village. Alice and her mother Joan are accused of witchcraft after an altercation with their neighbours, the couple Jack and Margery. These two experienced a number of frustrations including attempts at economic expansion and sex as well as other misfortunes.
Stephen Cummiskey It is impossible to imagine the landscape of contemporary drama without Caryl Churchillthe author of more than 30 plays, a handful of adaptations, a clutch of radio plays.
She has, as the playwright Marius Von Mayerburg has pointed out, "changed the language of theatre and very few playwrights do that". Only the greats deserve that accolade: The only woman on the list. Would Churchill be happy to be corralled into the category of "female playwright"?
I made a stab at listing some of the outstanding things about her work: A Number may be read as a play about cloning, a dystopian fantasy of a father who banishes the mother from the reproductive process and replicates sons via the lab. When the sons both played by the same actor, Daniel Craig, in the original Royal Court production meet they are thrown into a nightmare of identity confusion which leads to tragedy.
This all-male play probes questions about the relationship between sexism, capitalism and war.
Similarly, Vinegar Tom a feminist play written by Caryl Churchill written in , also focuses on witchcraft. The play is a non-naturalistic style and is shown using features of Bertolt Brecht’s epic theatre, for example the use of song and choral movement. The place where Johnson makes a bold difference, though, is in the musical numbers. The original play had music more in keeping with the setting and time of this English play. Johnson has rather boldly taken the liberty of giving Churchill's lyrics a contemporary sound by . Caryl Churchill's Vinegar Tom, first performed in , is as much about the 70s women's movement as it is about the witch-hunts of 17th-century England.
Deceptive in its simplicity, a play for just two actors, it asks a profoundly feminist question through the most theatrical of illusions. Michael tries to enlighten his father as to what makes him happy.
Talking of genes he opines: Does that cheer you up at all? A play written at the beginning of the property boom, it asked provocative questions about the relationship between the impulses to own and to destroy.
This led to her association with Max Stafford Clark and the Joint Stock Companywhere such plays as A Light Shining In Buckinghamshire and Cloud Nine were written using the Joint Stock method — a period of improvisation and research with actors, after which Churchill would leave to write the play.
Both plays are interrogations of entrenched aspects of society; our obsession with property which scuppered revolutionary possibilities in the former, and in Cloud Nine a farcical critique of the lingering impact of our inherited Victorian values on sex, race, sexuality and gender.
Here "she" is in conversation with her admirer, adventurer Harry Bagley: You have been thought of where no white women has ever been thought of before. I suppose I never will go in person.
During Act Two, set in s London, in a metaphorical reversal the modern, middle-aged Betty does "go in person" having made the discovery of self-pleasuring: Churchill is a playwright with a body of work that has continually responded to the "form and pressure of the times", as if she has turned the idea of what a play should be over and over, revisioning it beyond the accepted imaginative boundaries, to produce plays that are always revolutionary.
In Blue Kettle, as a young man pretends to be the long-lost son of various women, a "virus" affects language so that selectively words are replaced by either "blue" or "kettle" until the play at last is extinguished under the weight of non-communication. In this dream-like play we first see Harper and Joan, an aunt with her young niece who has been an unintentional witness to an ethnic cleansing atrocity in a lonely farmhouse.
Harper must recruit the innocent Joan to her cause. The dark fairytale begins. The two following scenes, each a vestigial act, plunge us into intense scenarios — of hat-making for concentration camp victims, and finally the fleeting visit home of an exhausted Joan in the midst of total war.
As we, the audience, fill in the gaps between acts we are left with a disturbing question: Her latest work Love and Information has no named characters, rather a series of unnamed voices in a collection of encounters circling around the central preoccupation.
It is up to us as the audience to draw our conclusions as to the meaning of the possible connections and disconnections between the scenarios. What is the meaning of the lack of information the writer is giving us?
On paper the white spaces seem frightening, threatening to engulf the words. One starts to wonder — what is information without love?
Is it a madness like the obsessive fan in "Fan" where the need to know everything, disguised as love, threatens in another way? This mysterious, powerful play is like a disquisition on two of the most powerful poles in our lives: It is also the work of a great artist, a late work, so in some way it is a reflection on all that has preceded it.
In "Climate", a voice states: Is this the information you want? Can you live with it? From her early historical, epic Brechtian plays to the more surreal later plays, Churchill has lit a blazing trail. Her career is unmatched in contemporary theatre and she stands with the greats in insisting, with brilliance, on her vision.The play Vinegar Tom was a very unusual play.
Everything in the play was very different and weird. Some of the parts in the play were very vulgar and obscene.
The plot of this play confronted many issues dealing with men and women. Although this play was set many years ago, many of those is. Vinegar tom was written by Caryl Churchill in , the play focuses on witch hunt in the 17th century.
Vinegar tom is more of a comedy to the crucible as it is more of a drama play. Vinegar tom is less about witches and more about why women were accused of witchcraft.
It is impossible to imagine the landscape of contemporary drama without Caryl Churchill, the author of more than 30 plays, a handful of adaptations, a clutch of radio plays. And what plays! Top. The play “Vinegar Tom” was written by Caryl Churchill in , but it is set in 17th century England.
The show has strong feminist themes, which director Jen Thomas is excited to bring out and give the women at Concordia a chance to perform in some non-traditional roles.
Caryl Churchill was born on 3 September in London and grew up in the Lake District and in Montreal. She was educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Downstairs, her first play written while she was still at university, was first staged in and won an award at the Sunday Times National Union of Students Drama Fe.
Read play» With potent images of disturbing injustices, Vinegar Tom uses a seventeenth-century witch hunt to condemn the past and present oppression of women. Caryl Churchill shows how marginalised women, who did not fit into the narrow social categories of the patriarchy, were often labelled witches for little reason other than their non-conformity.