Top Girls

Overview

The dialectic of Top Girls is wide-ranging, covering universal dilemmas facing women, but focuses on  major themes of contemporary life. The critique of feminist ambitions is a clear central theme and Churchill's selection of women from the past and modern world shows sympathy for the feminist cause and disdain for the male oppressor, but there is no sentimentality an no comfortable solution is offered for their problems.

Marlene hosts a dinner party in ...

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Top Girls

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Overview

The dialectic of Top Girls is wide-ranging, covering universal dilemmas facing women, but focuses on  major themes of contemporary life. The critique of feminist ambitions is a clear central theme and Churchill's selection of women from the past and modern world shows sympathy for the feminist cause and disdain for the male oppressor, but there is no sentimentality an no comfortable solution is offered for their problems.

Marlene hosts a dinner party in a London restaurant to celebrate her promotion to managing director of 'Top Girls' employment agency. Her guests are five women from the past: Isabella Bird (1831- 1904) - the adventurous traveller; Lady Nijo (b1258) - the mediaeval courtesan who became a Buddhist nun and travelled on foot through Japan; Dull Gret, who as Dulle Griet in a Bruegel painting, led a crowd of women on a charge through hell; Pope Joan - the transvestite early female pope and last but not least Patient Griselda, an obedient wife out of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. As the evening continues we are involved with the stories of all five women and the impending crisis in Marlene's own life. A classic of contemporary theatre, Churchill's play is seen as a landmark for a new generation of playwrights. It was premiered by the Royal Court in 1982.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Top Girls has a combination of directness and complexity which keeps you both emotionally and intellectually alert. You can smell life and at the same time feel locked in an argument with an agile and passionate mind."—Sunday Times
 
"Ms. Churchill is one of the best writers...her play is brilliantly conceived with considerable wit to illuminate the underlying deep human seriousness of her theme."—Spectator

"A dramatist who must surely be rated among the half-dozen best now writing a playwright of genuine audacity and assurance, able to use her considerable wit and intelligence in ways at once unusual, resonant and dramatically riveting."—New Statesman

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780413554802
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 7/1/2003
  • Series: Modern Classics Series
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 172,033
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.73 (h) x 0.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Caryl Churchill is a major contemporary British dramatist and features prominently in numerous books on modern "Feminist" or "Political" theatre, but she is careful not to be pinned down to any limiting definitions. The variety of her subject matter, the constant experiment with form and her challenge to conventional role models defy attempts to restrict the scope of her drama.

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