Overview

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 ...

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Top Girls

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Overview

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.


"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." (John Peter, Sunday Times)

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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: 9781408160855
  • Publisher: BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING
  • Publication date: 12/30/2013
  • Series: Modern Classics
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 104
  • Sales rank: 925,257
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Born in London, 1938, Churchill had some early acclaim with radio plays like The Ants (1962), not not not not not enough oxygen (1971) and Schreber's Nervous Illness (1972). However, it was through contact with feminism that she developed the language and structures to carry the complexity of her ideas. Top Girls (1982), perhaps Churchill's best play, keenly predicted the rise of bourgeois 'post-feminism' in the Thatcherite 1980s, raising stimulating questions, notably in its tour de force opening where the stories of six women from history overlap, clash and connect over a restaurant meal. Fen (1983) dissected economic and sexual oppressions in the Fenlands; the Foucault-inspired Softcops (1984) considered the meanings of criminality and punishment; and Serious Money (1987) was a witty verse thriller about the City, substantially attended by its objects of attack. Churchill's witty, powerfully intelligent dialogue and her uniquely imaginative sense of structure saw her at the forefront of British playwriting in the 1980s and 1990s.
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