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Howard Barker

HOWARD BARKER

  (1946 - )

Nationality:    British
email:    n/a     Website:    Click here

Literary Agent:    Judy Daish Associates Ltd  represented by Howard Gooding

Howard Barker is an internationally renowned Dramatist, whose first plays were performed at Royal Court Theatre and by the Royal Shakespeare Company. Since 1992 his work has been presented by his own company the Wrestling School. Barker is also a poet and theorist of Theatre, whose Theatre of Catastrophe' defines a new form of tragedy for our times.

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below is a list of Howard Barker's plays - click on a Play Title for more information

        12 Encounters With a Prodigy         13 Objects         Actress With An Unloved Child         Acts (Chapter One)         All Bleeding         All He Fears         Alpha Alpha         Animals In Paradise         Bang         Birth On A Hard Shoulder         Bite Of the Night, The         Blok/eko         Brutopia: Secret Life In Old Chelsea         Castle, The         Cheek         Christ's Dog         Claw         Credentials Of A Sympathiser         Crimes In Hot Countries         Dead Hands         Dogdeath In Macedonia         Don't Exaggerate         Downchild         Dumb Woman's Ecstasy, The         Dying Of the Day, The         Early Hours Of A Reviled Man         Ecstatic Bible, The         Edward : the Final Days         Europeans, The         Faceache         Fair Slaughter         Fence, The: In It's Thousandth Year         Forty, The         Found In the Ground         Gary the Thief / Gary Upright         Gertrude - the Cry         Golgo: Sermons On Pain And Privilege         Hang Of the Gaol, The         Hard Heart, A         Harrowing And Uplifting Interviews         Hated Nightfall         He Stumbled         Heaven         House Of Correction, A         Hurts Given And Received         I Saw Myself         In The Cloth Cathederal         In The Depths Of Dead Love         Judith         Kiss My Hands         Last Supper, The         Learning Kneeling         Lot And His God         Loud Boy's Life         Love Of A Good Man, The         More No Still         Necessity For Prostitution In Advanced Societies, The         No End Of Blame: Scenes Of Overcoming         No One Was Saved         Not Him         One Night Stand         Only Some Can Take the Strain         Passion In Six Days, A         Philosophical Lieutenant, The         Pity In History         Plevna: Meditations On Hatred         Poor Man's Friend, The         Possibilities, The         Power Of the Dog, The         Private Parts         Reasons For the Fall Of Emperors         Rome: On Being Divine         Rule Britannia         Scenes From An Execution         Seduction Of Almighty God, The         Seven Lears         She Sees the Argument But         Skipper, And My Sister And I         Slowly         Stripwell         Swing At Night, The         Ten DilEmmas In the Life Of God: the Incarcaration Text         That Good Between Us         Three Village Women, The         Twelfth Battle Of Isonzo, The         Uncle Vanya         Und         Unforeseen Consequences Of A Patriotic Act, The         Ursula: Fear Of the Estuary         Victory: Choices In Reaction         Wax         Weaver's Ecstasy At the Discovery Of New Colour, The         Women Beware Women         Wonder And Worship In the Dying Ward         Wounded Knife, A         Wounds To the Face



12 Encounters With a Prodigy

12 Encounters With a Prodigy
12 encounters with a Prodigy concentrates a theme Barker has explored overmany plays - the solitude of the precocious child. Kisster, an adored orphan, has been taught to exploit the pity of the world for his own advantage. From inside his fortified personality, Kisster manipulates a host of predatory characters, keeping at bay angels and vagrants in his struggle to survive.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
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Music:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  9            Female:  6            Other:  2 boys

Further Reference:
-

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13 Objects

Synopsis:
a spade. a cup and saucer. a medal. a pair of shoes. a rattle. a camera. a ring. a painting. a pair of spectacles. an urn. a postcard. a bucket. a drum. 13 objects. everyday. Dull. Mundane. But what if one was capable of inspiring tears? Or a great passion? even a war. the play explores the intimate connection we often make with everyday objects. although familiar and mundane in themselves, they can resonate with intense memories or extreme feelings. Here a series of simple items inspire a moment of great sorrow, joy, pain, anger, even a substitute for the identity of a human being. Powerful poetic language, provocative ideas and rich, dark humour build a compelling and fascinating exploration of the secret lives of everyday objects.

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1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
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Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Actress With An Unloved Child

Synopsis:
the funeral of a great artist . . . the mourners bicker and pay their respects at the same time . . . His mistress appears naked with a child . . . But why? as events unfold a growing sense infects the mourners that they are being manipulated from beyond the grave . . .

Notes:
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1st Produced:
-     2007

Organisations:

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Work in Progress

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Acts (Chapter One)

Synopsis:
In acts (Chapter One) an angel arrives at the estate of a woman whose husband's recent departure has left several men to compete for her estate and her body, while her husband seeks refuge with an obscene priest with a violent past.

Notes:
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1st Produced:

Organisations:
Pot of Thieves

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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All Bleeding

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Reading At Warehouse, Covent Garden, London     21 Feb 1979

Organisations:
RSC

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
RSC ref aLB197902

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All He Fears

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Theatre Barge, London     1994

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Alpha Alpha

Synopsis:
the Kray twins entertain an english peer to an exhibition of matricide

Notes:
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1st Produced:
Open Space, London     1972

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Animals In Paradise

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
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1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  large cast

Further Reference:
-

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Bang

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
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1st Produced:
London     1973

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Birth On A Hard Shoulder

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Stockholm     1980

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in Two Plays for the Right", Calder, 1982   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
-

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Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Bite Of the Night, The

Bite Of the Night, The
The Trojan legend and the character of Helen

Notes:
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1st Produced:
The Pit, London     1988

Organisations:

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1988
in Barker: Plays Eight, Oberon Books (2014) >>>    978-1783190874

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  17            Female:  4            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Blok/eko

Blok/eko
Howard Barker's theatre is characterized by its tragic scale and its distinctive way of exposing the unconscious resistances that underlie apparent social unanimity, both in the sexual and political spheres. Barker's play, BLOK/eKO, is a large-scale Drama about death and its status in the world. eko, an ageing despot, seemingly on a whim liquidates the entire medical profession, asserting that consolation - in the form of song - is a better way with sickness than drugs or surgery. a connoisseur herself, she knows great song is itself the distillation of suffering and so deliberately exposes her greatest poet Tot to a life of crime, poverty and humiliation in order to extract from him his finest work.

Notes:
BLOK/eKO is the first outcome of Barker's residence As Creative Fellow At the University of exeter (2010-2012) And the main element of his Plethora/Bare Sufficiency project.

1st Produced:
Exeter: Northcott Theatre     09 Jun 2011

Organisations:

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2011) >>>    978-1849431101

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  large cast

Further Reference:
-

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Brutopia: Secret Life In Old Chelsea

Synopsis:
a riposte to the conventional image of Thomas More, this play takes as its starting point the alienation of the least favoured of his daughters and her secret composition of a counter text to her father's classic Utopia

Notes:
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1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Historical Drama

Parts:
Male:  12            Female:  5            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Castle, The

Synopsis:
the return of CrUSAding males to a feminised feudal demesne provides the central theme as conflict breeds confusion

Notes:
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1st Produced:
The Pit, London     1985

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Triumph

Parts:
Male:  10            Female:  2            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Cheek

Synopsis:
an unemployed youth seeks salvation through personal philosophy

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "New Short Plays 3", Eyre Methuen, London, 1972   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  5            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Christ's Dog

Christ's Dog
In Christ's Dog the dying Lazar, arch-seducer and bigamist, treads out a journey he feels compelled to undertake to reach accommodation with his past. At every stage of his search, a different version of the untold story of Christ's dog is proposed to him. Lazar understands that his seemingly worthless life - akin to the mongrel that howls at the foot of the cross - is a critical element of human morality.

Notes:
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1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
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1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  11            Female:  4            Other:  guests

Further Reference:
-

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Claw

Synopsis:
a deprived youth catches a glimpse of the ruling class

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London     1975

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1977   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  10            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Credentials Of A Sympathiser

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Warehouse, Covent Garden, London     22/1979

Organisations:
RSC

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
play reading

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
RSC ref CRF197902

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Crimes In Hot Countries

Synopsis:
a British profiteer who sets up shop in a remote colonial outpost along with three prostitutes arriving to relieve the frustration of garrisoned troops

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1984   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  13            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dead Hands

Synopsis:
a young man rushes to reach the bedside of his dying father, but arrives too late. His younger brother was present at the death, but his attitude is strangely ambiguous, and the elder brother becomes suspicious. the intentions of the dead man's mistress are also unclear. the mourners become increasingly consumed by feverish imagining, building a powerfully tense atmosphere as their characters start to disintegrate.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
Oberon, London,    -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dogdeath In Macedonia

Synopsis:
Nauseated by the hectic character of Athenian democracy, the poet Euripides took refuge in the congenial tyranny of remote Macedonia. Here he created his greatest and most dangerous work, and here he perished in terrible circumstances. In Howard Barker's startling interpretation of events, the philosopher Plato, barely out of his adolescence, and with an adolescent's moral intransigence, is sent to fetch the genius back to the Western world. . .

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
GBS Theatre, RADA, London     25 Jun 2015

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Don't Exaggerate

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London     1984

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

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Further Reference:
-

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Downchild

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
The Pit, London     1985

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dumb Woman's Ecstasy, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Dying Of the Day, The

Synopsis:
Tense, dark and witty, this concise 80 minute new work is a gripping tale of an encounter between the diabolical and the innocent in a bold and beautiful exploration of a world overturned. a mysterious visitor to a barber's shop announces he has news to tell. But first he invites the barber to imagines the worst imaginable catastrophe he can. He envisages a national catastrophe in which his own son is a victim. This approaching disaster will destroy his life but also that of the diabolical visitor, so at the end they share a dreadful intimacy. In the wash of savagery that the world experiences every day, how can we contain any sense of individual suffering? In this play, the barber gains an agonising knowledge of the cataclysm to come, while his friends and neighbours know nothing. the play explores what this does to him and the choices he must make.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Early Hours Of A Reviled Man

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Rhyme and Reason

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Ecstatic Bible, The

Ecstatic Bible, The
a testament to the millienium, Howard Barker's ecstatic Bible sweeps through a landscape shaped by the european political and social experience of the twentieth century. a series of interlocking narratives negotiate a strange landscape - streets, a chateau, a hospital ward of war wounded - inhabited by amoral and passionate characters. Provocative imagery and poetic language are suffused with a rich, dark humour. This intriguing collection of parables without morality carries within it the profound echoes of past pain and comic contradiction.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2004) >>>    978-1849434171

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
series of interlocking narratives

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  large cast of characters

Further Reference:
-

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Edward : the Final Days

Synopsis:
Edward heath, a mischievous biography

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Open Space, London     1972

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Europeans, The

Synopsis:
Barker's the europeans leads us through a cross-section of war-ravaged Vienna, post-Turkish invasion of the late 1600's. This is a place where manners disappear with shops, the most genteel women will sell their bodies for a loaf of bread, and the blood of Turkish prisoners runs free. the emporer and empress want the normality of the past, but only Starhemburg, the army general and saviour of the city, realises that a new future must be forged, and sees Katrin - a young woman mutilated, raped and impregnated by the Turks - as being the agent for change. No Barker play is more relevant now than the europeans. It unapologetically reveals us as we are: primal beasts dangerously struggling to learn the love of oneself and finding the spirit to love one another.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
in "Playscript 118" Calder & Boyers, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  8            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Faceache

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London     1971

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

To Buy This Play:
If Publisher (above) is underlined then the play may be purchased by direct click from the Publisher, otherwise (below) are AbeBooks for secondhand, signed & 1st eds and other Booksellers for new copies

Booksellers:

Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Fair Slaughter

Synopsis:
a veteran communist and oldest living murderer in england, lies in a prison hospital planning his escape

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Playscript 82, Calder and Boyars, London, 1978   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Fence, The: In It's Thousandth Year

Synopsis:
inspired by the long distance fence under construction in the Gaza to separate the Palestinian and Jewish communities. Set in a world of rising frontiers and illegal immigration, the Fence uses powerful poetic language, provocative ideas and rich, dark humour to build a compelling epic about scandal in a ruling monarchy and its subsequent downfall. at the heart of this tale is the intensely personal story of a blind boy's struggle to discover his true identity in a world where nothing is what it seems

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
Oberon, London, 2005   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Forty, The

Forty, The
Barker's explorations of both the singular moment and the limits of language achieve a new formal concentration and beauty in the Forty, a compendium which stretches beyond even the ambition of his other Dramatic collections such as the Possibilities and 13 Objects to present forty short plays, each concentrating on a moment of extreme emotional tension, and foregrounding the ways in which words and gestures provide currency for negotiation. Many of the characters in the Forty are glimpsed at crisis points, as in that resonant phrase at the end of their tethers'. these are elliptical narratives, in the sense of being so condensed as to be ambiguous: do they present a prelude, or an aftermath (or both)? the audience is invited to imagine further beyond, on the basis of an active, tensile incompletion in word and deed: a fateful hinge moment, and the surrounding tensile readiness, forceful disengagement, despairing submission, or shocking nonchalance.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
aberystwyth University Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies and Lurking Truth Theatre Company

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Found In the Ground

Synopsis:
Urinating nurses, mechanical dogs, headless women, burning books and adolf Hitler are all part of the bold visceral landscape of Howard Barker's startling new play. a startling and provocative kaleidoscope of images, movement and powerfully poetic language, Found In the Ground is his most unique stage work yet; an exhilarating challenge to both language and what we think of as a play but threaded with a cruel black comedy and a host of characters whose human weaknesses, dreams and desires we all too readily recognise. a dying former Nuremberg judge consigns his priceless library to the bonfire. as he rejoices in this willful barbarism, his delinquent daughter discovers a bizarre obsession and his executed victims appear. His desire to meet the arch criminal who evaded his prosecution is at last satisfied when Hitler arrives to discuss painting.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  3            Other:  4 nurses

Further Reference:
-

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Gary the Thief / Gary Upright

Synopsis:
Gary the Thief presents a character in self-exploration whose definition of himself is in direct opposition to the crowd

Notes:
From Poems By Howard Barker

1st Produced:
BAC , London >>>     1990

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Gertrude - the Cry

Synopsis:
Barker's abiding interest in interrogating the great classics for their 'silences' is shown in Gertrude - the Cry, his re-writing of the Hamlet story. Scarcely examined in Shakespeare, the passion of Gertrude for Claudius is made the centre of this harrowing tragedy, casting new light on the personality of Hamlet himself.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Golgo: Sermons On Pain And Privilege

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Leicester     1989

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Hang Of the Gaol, The

Synopsis:
it takes the lid off one of the most enclosed institutions in this or any society - the prison

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Warehouse, Covent Garden, London     15 Dec 1978

Organisations:
RSC

1st Published:
in "Playscript 94" Calder & Boyers, London, 1982   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  10            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
RSC ref HaG197812

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Hard Heart, A

Synopsis:
explores the ways we protect our political and human borders. Barker's prophetic Drama imagines a country facing invasion. 'Praxis' the Queen enlists the Genius 'Riddler' to devise a strategy to protect their threatened culture, but is the sacrifice too much?

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Harrowing And Uplifting Interviews

Harrowing And Uplifting Interviews
In Harrowing and Uplifting Interviews, a gifted musician is banished to the remotest region of an empire by an autocrat he had complacently regarded as a patron and a friend. A moral and intellectual duel is played out over the distance of a thousand miles.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2016) >>>    978-1783193110

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Hated Nightfall

Synopsis:
speculation on what occurred on the last night in the lives of the Russian Imperial family

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
in "Playscript 120" Calder & Boyers, London, 1994   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Historical Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  8            Female:  4            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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He Stumbled

He Stumbled
Doja, an anatomist whose reputation for embalming dead monarchs is second to none, is summoned by an obscure kingdom where the king is on his deathbed. But no sooner has Doja put the first incision into the body than he is besieged by the queen, the young prince and others in the kingdom who all want to seduce him.. He senses that he is in extreme danger but is powerless to escape and avoid his doom. He is forced to collude in his own assassination.
Lyn Gardner, Guardian

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.3" Oberon Books Ltd (1 Sep 2007)   978-1840026764

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Heaven

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Playscript 94" Calder & Boyers, London, 1982   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Screenplay

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  Large Cast

Further Reference:
-

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House Of Correction, A

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Hurts Given And Received

Hurts Given And Received
a study of a poet compelled to sacrifice friends and lovers to fulfil the demands of his imagination in obsessive pursuit of creating the perfect masterpiece.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
the Wrestling School

1st Published:
Oberon Books, London (2010) >>>    978-1849430166

Music:
-

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Genre:
90 min One act

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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I Saw Myself

Synopsis:
Sleev, a rich and promiscuous woman wants to confess her scandalous sexual history to a world that has never dared acknowledge it. . .the men are at war. the women weave a great tapestry portraying the conflict. the death of Sleev's husband in battle compels her to insinuate her sexual adventures into the tapestry, provoking fear and hostility in all those around her. In her struggle to assert the right to depict her personal experience Howard Barker has created another gloriously self-willed, erotic and fascinating character, returning to the theme of the subversion of public art by individual expression he first explored in Scenes From an execution. the piece explores the role of the mirror, the autobiography and the self-portrait in an intriguing and unpredictable way.
- the British theatre Guide

Notes:
New end theatre, Hampstead, London (rehearsed reading), 2007 >>> . Howard Barker's theatre company the Wrestling School was one of the companies cut by Arts Council england in its recent round of funding decisions but has been saved by An American fan who has pledged to replace that funding for the next three years. Now the company is to premiere its twentieth Anniversary production, Barker's I Saw Myself.
- the British theatre Guide

1st Produced:
Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre, London     2008

Organisations:

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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In The Cloth Cathederal

In The Cloth Cathederal
In the Cloth Cathedral describes the rise of an assassin, the killer of an archbishop who he condemns for preaching religion without God. His prosecutor, a brilliant but tormented lawyer, finds himself seduced by the integrity of the criminal's character, ending up as his accomplice. One of the finest discordant duets in Barker's work, the warring protagonists are surrounded by a chorus of the vengeful, the forgiving, and the dead. . .

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2016) >>>    978-1783193110

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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In The Depths Of Dead Love

In The Depths Of Dead Love
In the Depths of Dead Love is set in a feudal China. A similarly exiled man scrapes a living by renting out his peculiar property - a bottomless well - to aspiring suicides. Among these is a married couple who exert an appalling influence over him. As in all great tragedy, an uncomfortable vein of comedy runs through the work, not to relieve but to intensify its contradictions. . .

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2016) >>>    978-1783193110

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Judith

Synopsis:
history of Judith and Holofernes most famous of the stories of the apocrypha

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
in "Playscript 118" Calder & Boyers, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Historical Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Kiss My Hands

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Last Supper, The

Synopsis:
speculation on the death of the prophet Lvov, whose waning powers can only be obscured by a literal enactment of transubstantiation

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1988   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Religious Play

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  7            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Learning Kneeling

Learning Kneeling
Learning Kneeling is perhaps the most terrible of Barker's works, a play of apparently unredeemed extremity, relieved by a wit and a scrupulous intensity of thought that renders it a tribute to human persistence and imagination. Sturdee, a legless man of property, finds his home and his mistress seized by terrorists, the leader of whom, Demonstrator by name and instinct, leads him into a nightmare of ambiguities

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  4            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Lot And His God

Lot And His God
Sodom. the day before the city's total annihilation. Among the grimy tables of a run down cafe, an angel tells Lot that God wants him to flee, before the city is obliterated. However, Lot's irresistible wife has other ideas. . . As the angel and Lot's wife embark on a dangerous game of seduction, cruelty and desire, we are drawn ever deeper into the dark and impenetrable forest that is the marriage between Lot and the bewitching woman he worships. . .

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Pot of Thieves

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2012) >>>    978-1849434096

Music:
-

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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Loud Boy's Life

Synopsis:
a great parliamentarian dies

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Warehouse, Covent Garden, London     27 Feb 1980

Organisations:
RSC

1st Published:
in Two Plays for the Right", Calder, 1982   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  11            Female:  3            Other:  with doubling

Further Reference:
RSC ref LOU198002

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Love Of A Good Man, The

Synopsis:
them - the mass burial of war dead - is explored both from the erotic and political point of view

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1980   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Iconoclastic Comedy

Parts:
Male:  11            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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More No Still

More No Still
More No Still is set in yet deeper chaos. The female protagonist Sway takes refuge from the nausea of debate by substituting practiced poses for articulated speech. In her search for a model society, she is accompanied by an escaped criminal with whom she finds a city of rampant roses and draconian laws. She falls in love for the first time- not with the city's governor, a reactionary priest - but with his infant self who exists simultaneously and in the same dimension. Barker's capacity for meditation and the most daring theatrical imagination are here combined with particular intensity.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2016) >>>    978-1783193110

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Necessity For Prostitution In Advanced Societies, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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No End Of Blame: Scenes Of Overcoming

Synopsis:
No end of Blame: Scenes of Overcoming explores the role of the artist in society and the struggle for freedom of expression. Starting with a harrowing depiction of war with an attempted rape and a near execution in the Carpathian Mountains during WWI, the protagonist is the brilliant Hungarian political cartoonist Bela Veracek (loosely based on German cartoonist Victor Weisz). Running from Hungary at the end of the First World War to the newly emergent Soviet Union and then to a pre-WWII Britain, he's constantly at odds with the governments he lampoons and the newspapers that admire his talent but expect conformity and absolute submission

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Oxford Playhouse Company     1981

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1981   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  7            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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No One Was Saved

Synopsis:
John Lennon encounters eleanor Rigby

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Royal Court Schools Scheme

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  3            Other:   4m as the Saved Gang

Further Reference:
-

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Not Him

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  2            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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One Night Stand

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Only Some Can Take the Strain

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Passion In Six Days, A

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Sheffield     1983

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Philosophical Lieutenant, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Pity In History

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
televised 1985

1st Produced:
Edinburgh     1986

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Riverrun Press, New York, 1987   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Plevna: Meditations On Hatred

Synopsis:
Plevna: Meditations on Hatred explores the legacy of cultural conflict through the ages.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Atlantic Stage 2
330 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011     12 Jul 2010

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
short play

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Poor Man's Friend, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Colway Theatre Trust, Bridport     1981

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Community Play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Possibilities, The

Possibilities, The
on irrationality and the limits of logic as the characters act against their own interests, but in doing so both refine and complicate their humanity

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1987   9780714541358

Music:
-

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Genre:
series of ten pieces

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Power Of the Dog, The

Synopsis:
Tragedy of eastern europe and the mayhem of 1945 whilst a comic treads the murderous line between truth and accommodation.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Brentford, Middlesex     1984

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Movements in History and anti-History

Parts:
Male:  19            Female:  4            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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Private Parts

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Edinburgh     1972

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
National Library of Scotland ref: Traverse - Dep.256/Box 4/4

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Reasons For the Fall Of Emperors

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Rome: On Being Divine

Synopsis:
its form is interwoven narratives, asides and digressions, its concerns are spirituality, culture and sacrifice

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Religious Play

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  Large Cast

Further Reference:
-

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Rule Britannia

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
London     1973

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Scenes From An Execution

Synopsis:
artists have no power and great imagination. the state has no imagination and great power. the perennial mismatch.

Notes:
broadcast 1984

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1985   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  16            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Seduction Of Almighty God, The

Seduction Of Almighty God, The
Set at the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries during the english Reformation, the play describes the spiritual ascendancy of an adolescent priest and the appalling discovery that he possesses the power of life and death over others, both religous and secular. Victimised by his bretheren and eventually murdered by his female followers, the youth Loftus argues hiself into the belief that god, weary of his own impotence, has devoted His powers upon him

Notes:
sub title: by the Boy Priest Loftus in the Abbey of Calcetto, 1539

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
Oberon Books (2006) >>>    978-1840027112

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  3            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:
-

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Seven Lears

Synopsis:
Seven Lears is an imaginative exploration of the life of King Lear. Taking the audience through the seven stages of his life from an innocent young boy to embittered old man, this play explodes the myth of one of Shakespeares most well-known figures. Lear is portrayed as a man in a pursuit of good who cherishes honesty and truth, but who ultimately through ineptitude causes much pain and distress to his loved ones and his country. Besides the many unnecessary deaths caused by his wars, he imprisons innocent subjects, tries to drown his own daughter and sentences his mother-in-law to death. As you can imagine, this is something of a dark and dour play

Notes:
Original Playwright - Shakespeare

1st Produced:
Sheffield     1989

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1990   978-0714541839

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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She Sees the Argument But

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Skipper, And My Sister And I

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Slowly

Slowly
as barbarians approach the palace of an ancient culture, four princesses must decide if they will witness the destruction of all they know or conform to expectation and commit suicide. For some, the possibility of life is all too compelling.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
the Wrestling School

1st Published:
Oberon Books, London (2010) >>>    978-1849430166

Music:
-

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Genre:
One act

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Stripwell

Synopsis:
a judge fails to accommodate his conscience.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1977   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Swing At Night, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Barge, Little Venice, London     2001

Organisations:
Movingstage Marionette Company

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Puppet Play for adults

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Ten DilEmmas In the Life Of God: the Incarcaration Text

Synopsis:
tells of the agonises passion of a man and a woman whose collusive impotence arouses the wrath of the collective - the ultimate rebellion against conditioned existence

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Tragedy

Parts:
Male:  6            Female:  4            Other:  extras

Further Reference:
-

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That Good Between Us

Synopsis:
the secret police break a conspiracy in a morally vacuous world. Someone survives

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
Warehouse, Covent Garden, London     26 Jul 1977

Organisations:
RSC

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1980   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  13            Female:  5            Other:  doubling

Further Reference:
RSC ref THa197707

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Three Village Women, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  2            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Twelfth Battle Of Isonzo, The

Twelfth Battle Of Isonzo, The
the Twelfth Bottle of Isonzo is the twelfth marriage of a very old man to a young woman a fraction of his age. their mutual fascination is intensified but also rendered ambiguous by the fact that both are blind. the intellectual and erotic manoeuvres conducted between them are akin to a dance, and what begins as a hypothesis becomes a painful exposure of the many meanings of intimacy.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Iomha Ildanach

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Uncle Vanya

Synopsis:
shows a man redeemed from self disgust and liberated from the Chekhovian half light to a world of sexual assertion

Notes:
Original Playwright - Anton Chekhov

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  5            Female:  4            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Und

Und
Und, a play for one woman and six trays, is a moving study of dignity and self-delusion. When a guest, perhaps a lover, fails to appear for an appointment, his hostess invents excuses for his neglect, even when ill-manners degenerate into barbarity. the hostess is Jewish, the invisible guest a Nazi officer.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Unforeseen Consequences Of A Patriotic Act, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  3            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Ursula: Fear Of the Estuary

Ursula: Fear Of the Estuary
The play concerns Ursula a nun betrothed to Lucas a lord who lives in a castle overlooking an estuary. Under instruction from Placida, the Mother Superior she responds to the religious ideologue within herself and rejects Lucas in order to become a bride of Christ. Along with her companion nuns and the Mother they journey across the river to Lucass castle. Lucas, rejected, turns his attention elsewhere and finds in Placida herself a woman who is not an ideologue but a pragmatist - a woman of this world  and she takes Lucas for herself thus betraying the ideals she previously espoused and, of course, the nuns who hang on every word carried by her voice. Finally, Placida kills the other women an act, she comes to pragmatically see, of hope as she has preserved their virginity.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.3" Oberon Books Ltd (1 Sep 2007)   978-1840026764

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  1            Female:  11            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Victory: Choices In Reaction

Synopsis:
Victory is set in the english Civil War and follows the ethical voyage of a widow towards personal reconstruction

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Joint Stock

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1990   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  26            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Wax

Synopsis:
NaTO manoeuvres are disrupted by a personal problem

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Weaver's Ecstasy At the Discovery Of New Colour, The

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
-

1st Produced:
-    

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
in "Barker, Howard, Collected Plays Vol.2" Calder & Boyers, London, 1993   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
-

Parts:
Male:  3            Female:  1            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Women Beware Women

Synopsis:
-

Notes:
Original Playwright - Thomas Middleton

1st Produced:

Organisations:
-

1st Published:
Calder & Boyers, London, 1986   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
adaptation

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Wonder And Worship In the Dying Ward

Wonder And Worship In the Dying Ward
We are always encouraged to apologise for our wrong actions. But what if we sensed to do so would destroy our integrity?

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
the Wrestling School

1st Published:

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  7            Female:  6            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Wounded Knife, A

Synopsis:
a tense and compelling Dramatic enquiry into the terms of life and death, a Wounded Knife brings together strong characters and shockingly unsentimental humour in a vivid story of sexual fixation and remorselessness. In this highly intriguing and engaging example of Barker's distinctive Drama, an unrepentant murderer is given a new lease of life by an unpredictable prince, who is driven to test the limits of others and himself, including a seductive widow, a revenge-driven tailor and a lethal surgeon. a Wounded Knife explores the dangers of love and questions of justice, in scenes rich with the tangles of eroticism and speculation, which prove both comic and terrifying.

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:
Bold Productions and Lurking Truth Theatre Company

1st Published:
-   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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Wounds To the Face

Synopsis:
series of interlocking narratives revealing the pains society and its individuals undergo in negotiating the human face

Notes:
-

1st Produced:

Organisations:

1st Published:
in "Playscript 120" Calder & Boyers, London, 1994   -

Music:
-

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Genre:
Play/Drama

Parts:
Male:  -            Female:  -            Other:  -

Further Reference:
-

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