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Scenes from an Execution (Oberon Modern Plays) [Paperback]

Howard Barker
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

27 Sep 2012 Oberon Modern Plays
Commissioned to paint a vast canvas celebrating the triumphant Battle of Lepanto, the free-spirited Galactia creates instead a breathtaking scene of war-torn carnage. In her fierce determination to stay true to herself, she alienates the authorities and faces incarceration. Her younger lover Carpeta is approached to take over and seizes the assignment for himself. Howard Barker's Scenes from an Execution makes sixteenth-century Venice the setting for a fearless exploration of sexual politics and the timeless tension between personal ambition and moral responsibility, between the patron's demands and the artist's autonomy. First published in 1990, this re-issue of Scenes from an Execution coincides with the major revival at the National Theatre. This new edition carries a preface by Howard Barker, The Sunless Garden , which references his newer work alongside this classic play from Barker's canon. Fiona Shaw takes the role of Galactia in this darkly humorous and provocative play at the National Theatre 27th September 15th November 2012.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Oberon Books Ltd. (27 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849434689
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849434683
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 13 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 573,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"Barker's work remains emotionally true, poetic psychologically and full of startling insights." - "The Arts Desk"

"A major triumph for playwright Howard Barker... There's a pugnacious tone, and a liberated style, about Barker at his best that is unlike anything else on our stages today.' - "WhatsOnStage"

"A modern study of the meaning of art and the truth of war... this play has a timeless power and truthfulness." - "The Stage"

"Witty and insightful ... a highly enjoyable tour de force" - "British Theatre Guide"

"Accessible and stringently witty... [mixes] austere intellectual rigour and knockabout, anachronistic humour." 4 stars - "Independent"

"Shows Barker's poetic talent at its most disciplined and has the feel of a contemporary classic." - 4 stars "Guardian"

"Fiercely impassioned and as subtle as a quizzically raised eyebrow, its also adorned with teasing, Blackadderish humour." 4 stars - "Metro"

About the Author

Howard Barker is one of the most significant and controversial dramatists of his time. His plays challenge, unsettle and expose. The energy, poetic language and imagination of his plays have fixed them firmly in the international repertoire.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Galactic is the most talented artist in Venice. She is commissioned by the State to paint the Battle of Lepanto as a glorious Venetian victory. She paints a grotesque slaughterhouse thus provoking a debate about the nature and purpose of art that culminates in a knowing compromise. This is very entertaining play that provides much food for thought on the relationship between artist and State.
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