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A great decade for new writing
Some top hits from the past - but what's hot now?

The Pitchfork Disney
by Philip Ridley

'No miracles: just freak accidents and freaks' (Cosmo)

First performed at the Bush on 2 January 1991; published in Philip Ridley - Plays One by Methuen in 1997
Presley Stray - Rupert Graves
Haley Stray - Tilly Vosburgh
Cosmo Disney - Dominic Keating
Pitchfork Cavalier - Stuart Raynor
Directed by Matthew Lloyd

'The man who tried to make an art movie of The Krays is back with another macabre drama about East End low life' (Daily Express)
'It tingles with nightmares and obsessional fungi' (Observer)
'An expressionistic fantasy, a voyage into the unconscious, a grim and gothic fairy tale diverted into psychology' (Guardian)


by Anthony Neilson

'You pulled my shirt up. You listened to my heart' (Max)

First performed at the Traverse on 12 August 1993; published in Anthony Neilson - Plays One by Methuen in 1998
Tadge - James Cunningham
Max - Anthony Neilson
Alan - Alan Francis
Directed by Anthony Neilson

'Should this sick play have been presented at all?' (Theatre Record)
'Is it a brave attack on social and sexual taboos, or just gratuitously nasty, brutish and short?' (Guardian)
'The explosion of violence towards the end is one of the most nail-biting scenes I have ever watched in a theatre' (Mail on Sunday)


Butterfly Kiss
by Phyllis Nagy

'My father kept a Luger by his bedside. In case he ever felt like shooting a butterfly' (Lily)

First performed at the Almeida on 7 April 1994; published in Phyllis Nagy - Plays One by Methuen in 1998
Lily Ross - Elizabeth Berridge
Jenny Ross - Susan Brown
Sally Ramona - Mary Macleod
Sloan Ross - Oliver Cotton
Martha McKenzie - Debora Weston
Christine, the Countess Van Dyne - Sandra Dickinson
Teddy Roosevelt Hayes - Larry Lamb
Jackson Trouver - Andrew Woodall
Directed by Steven Pimlott

'A nasty little play about nasty little people leading very nasty little lives' (Daily Mail)
'A hard-edged, often dazzlingly well written, American fable' (Observer)
'Wittily outrageous' (Independent)


by Sarah Kane

'You're a nightmare' (Cate)

First performed at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs on 12 January 1995; published as Blasted & Phaedra's Love by Methuen in 1996
Ian - Pip Donaghy
Cate - Kate Ashfield
Soldier - Dermot Kerrigan
Directed by James Macdonald

'This disgusting feast of filth' (Daily Mail)
'Sheer unadulterated brutalism' (Evening Standard)
'Facing something actual and true and ugly and painful' (Harold Pinter)
'Strange, almost hallucinatory quality' (Edward Bond)


The Architect
by David Greig

'If I loved you I'd hurt you' (Joe)

First performed at the Traverse on 23 February 1996; published as Europe & The Architect by Methuen in 1996
Leo Black - Alexander Morton
Martin Black - Tom Smith
Sheena Mackie - Una McLean
Pauline Black - Morag Hood
Dorothy Black - Ashley Jensen
Joe - Eric Barlow
Billy - Paul Hickey
Directed by Philip Howard

'Greig denies us the comfort of any objective corollary to explain the existential unease on view' (Independent)
'An ambitious and telling statement about modern life' (Guardian)
'An eloquent tragedy of our times' (Herald)


Shopping and Fucking
by Mark Ravenhill

'I think we all need stories, we make up stories so that we can get by' (Robbie)

First performed at the Royal Court 'in exile' at the New Ambassadors on 26 September 1996; published by Methuen in 1996
Lulu - Kate Ashfield
Robbie - Andrew Glover
Mark - James Kennedy
Gary - Antony Ryding
Brian - Robin Soans
Directed by Max Stafford-Clark

'A shocker in every sense of the word' (Daily Mail)
'It wallows in the conditions it describes' (Sunday Telegraph)
'What makes this play so dangerous to closed minds is its unnerving knack of opening our eyes to the horrors of our daily lives' (Sunday Express)


by Patrick Marber

'They spend a lifetime fucking and never know how to make love' (Anna)

First performed at the National's Cottesloe Theatre on 22 May 1997; published by Methuen in 1997
Alice - Liza Walker
Dan - Clive Owen
Larry - Ciaran Hinds
Anna - Sally Dexter
Directed by Patrick Marber

'This candid, scathing, very modern view of the sex war' (Guardian)
'One of the best plays of sexual politics in the language' (Sunday Times)
'In Marber's fierce play the desire for truth and intimacy appears to be as strong and reckless as the desire for sex' (Independent on Sunday)


Yard Gal
by Rebecca Prichard

'You just nutty in fights man' (Marie)

First performed at the Royal Court at the Ambassadors on 7 May 1998; published by Faber in 1998
Marie - Amelia Lowdell
Boo - Sharon Duncan-Brewster
Directed by Gemma Bodinetz

'I kept wishing it showed more and told less' (Guardian)
'The stripped down production threatens to overdose on its own energy' (Independent)
'A dramatist who embraces life and writes with real heart' (Telegraph)


Real Classy Affair
by Nick Grosso

'And Rod takes the old man's hand and walks him to the car and says look dad . . . you can touch it' (Stan)

First performed at the Royal Court at the Ambassadors on 14 October 1998; published by Faber in 1998
Tommy - Jason Hughes
Harry - Callum Dixon
Joey - Jake Wood
Billy - Joseph Fiennes
Stan - Nick Moran
Louise - Liza Walker
Directed by James Macdonald

'The chat is in excess of the dramatic action' (Guardian)
'Hot, hip and happening' (Independent)
'The Harold Pinter of the nineties' (Express)


by Joe Penhall

'They're dangerous, man. Believe. They're spooky.' (Christopher)

First performed at the National's Cottesloe Theatre on 7 April 2000; published by Methuen in 2000
Christopher - Chiwetel Ejiofor
Bruce - Andrew Lincoln
Robert - Bill Nighy
Directed by Roger Michell

'Generates great heat and precious little light' (Telegraph)
'Riveting and compelling' (Daily Mail)
'One of the best new plays in the National's history' (Sunday Times)

• A great decade, but what's new now?


Plus the context: new writing bibliography

Doubleplus: more quotes

More Sierz...


















Hot hits

What's in-yer-face theatre?
First edition
The nasty nineties
New writing A-Z
What's on
Further info