Caryl Churchill’s “farce about sexual politics” follows our characters from Colonial Africa in the Victorian Era to London, England in the late 1970s.
Born September 3, 1938, Caryl Churchill is a British playwright known for dramatizing the abuses of power, for her use of non-naturalistic techniques, and for her exploration of sexual politics and feminist themes. She often seeks to explore form with her plays and is not afraid of theatricality.
She was initially drawn to playwriting as an escape from “something quite conventional and middle class and boring”.
Other works include Top Girls (1982), Serious Money (1987), Blue Heart (1997), and Far Away (2000). She is still writing and published four plays in 2019.
Churchill was heavily influenced by Epic Theatre, a German theatrical movement arising in the early to mid-20th century.
Largely associated with Bertolt Brecht, Epic Theatre is not meant to refer to the scale of the work, but rather to the form that it takes. The purpose of Epic Theatre is not to encourage an audience to suspend their disbelief, but rather to force them to see their world as it is.
Focusing on “the colonial or feminine mentality of interiorized repression”, Churchill is tearing apart the reverence we place on societal roles, specifically focused on gender, race, and sexuality.
Act I parodies the conventional comedy genre and satirizes Victorian society and colonialism.
Act II shows what could happen when the restrictions of both the comic genre and Victorian ideology are loosened.