Biography of Caryl Churchill

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Biography of Caryl Churchill

Caryl Churchill is one of England's most premier female, post-modern playwrights. She has strived throughout her career as theatrical personality to make the world question roles, stereotypes and issues that are dealt with everyday, like, violence, and political and sexual oppression. She has been part of many facets of performance throughout her almost sixty year career. Not only has she been a strong force on the stage, but has also had strong influences with radio and television. She is truly a talented woman dabbling in not only a Brechtian style of theatre that has been commented on time and time again, but also musicals of a sort.

Churchill was born in London on September 3, 1938. She lived in England until the age of ten when her family moved to Canada. There she attended Trafalgar School in Montreal until 1955. At this time she moved back to England to attend Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University. This is the key place that her career began. While studying English at Oxford she took an interest in theatre. She wrote her first three plays while at the university.

Where has she been?

Radio plays

When her career in theatre and performance started at Oxford she began the first phase in her career. She was very focused on sounds and voice. Her first three plays, Downstairs, 1958; You've No Need to be Frightened, 1959; and Having a Wonderful Time, 1959. All three of these plays, extremely focused on sound, propelled her career into radio. For the next ten years she concentrated her energy solely on radio plays, starting off with The Ants, which she, herself, "thought of it as a TV play, but my agent Margaret Ramsey sensibly sent it to radio" (Kritzner16). This focal point...

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...he previous versions of the myth" (Kritzner 172). As far as many critics have found, this shows Churchill's renewal of interest in the combination of personal experience and political analysis and the knowledge of there "inseparability of reason and emotion" (Kritzner 172).


Since her last known "movement" Churchill is still writing plays and changing her style. She has written musicals and many plays with two unrelated acts that somehow are intertwined. She continues to question society with such works as Blue Heart, Hotel, and Hot Fudge.


Works Cited

Asahina, Robert. The Hudson Review, XXXIV 1981.

Churchill, Caryl. Cloud Nine. Pluto Press, Ltd. London, 1979.

Kritzner, Amelia Howe. The Plays of Caryl Churchill. St. Martin's Press, NY, 1991.

Wandor, Michelene. "Free Collective Bargaining", Time Out, 30. March-4 April 1979.
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