Comparison between two plays Essay

Discuss and compare how Caryl Churchill ‘s Top Girls and David Eldridge ‘s Under the Blue Sky deploy the conventions of Dialogue and Objectives/Obstacles, and asses the connexion between these formal picks and the significance and impact of the drama.

The conventions of duologue and aims and obstructions are intertwined through the dramatist ‘s portraiture of character and in the procedure of making dramatic struggle. Dialogue is a indicative device, where action is conveyed through address to pass on character aims ; it is ‘the main agencies by which the premiss is proved, the characters revealed, and the struggle carried out ‘ . [ 1 ] Dialogue reveals subtext every bit good as character and motivation, and communicates ‘the internal dimension of the secret plan… [ through ] psychological, or interior action ‘ [ 2 ] within each character, whose aims become evident through the interlingual rendition of idea into address and its map in play.

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Character aims are defined as ends or desires for single characters, frequently in resistance to each other. For David Edgar ‘ [ W ] hat characters do is prosecute aims [ but they ] are non needfully – or even frequently – pursued straight ‘ . [ 3 ] Aims alter harmonizing to the nature of altering conversation and character disclosures, therefore transforming its strength, gait, and significance. The motive behind a line of duologue informs what the character wants to accomplish by them stating a peculiar thing. Edgar refers to Stanislavsky ‘s theory of ‘Actioning ‘ , where histrions place an purpose behind each single line. This is a dry run technique utilised by the manager Max Stafford Clark:

Max Stafford Clark… and his histrions ‘action ‘ single lines with transitive verbs: in chase of the aims, say, of seduction, a character may befriend, delight, machination and flatter in every bit many lines, to which the other character, in chase of the aim of staying unseduced, may react by warning, ignoring, and disputing before eventually rejecting. [ 4 ]

This technique high spots obstacles to these purposes. Obstacles are defined as factors working against a character ‘s nonsubjective, frequently taking the signifier of another character in the scene, guaranting a more emotional undertone between characters to make struggle, peculiarly as

[ A ] nother of import map of the duologue is the look of emotion. Fictional characters do n’t merely province facts ; they express their feelings toward conditions they feel strongly approximately. The most extremely emotional duologue is frequently a free release of feelings stemming from an unfastened clang of volitions. [ 5 ]

In order to measure how dramatists have deployed these conventions within their authorship, Top Girls by Caryl Churchill and Under the Blue Sky by David Eldridge will be used as illustrations to research how these dramatic patterns create significance. Top Girls was directed by Max Stafford Clark and premiered at The Royal Court Theatre, returning early in 1983 following its transportation to New York. The drama emerged as a socialist remark on Thatcherite governments and the championing of the Individual. This has led to debate over whether it is first and foremost a women’s rightist or a socialist drama. It is non merely the political content of the drama which is so important, but the construction of its content and Churchill ‘s usage of unconventional duologue:

The drama is informed by a polar minute in the early 1980s, when societal and economic alteration had liberated adult females but besides fostered pitiless individuality. The capable finds expressive signifier in the drama ‘s intercrossed construction, rearward chronology and verbal technique – Churchill ‘s precise notation for interrupted, overlapping and non-consecutive duologue that specifies beat and discontinuity for the histrions in public presentation. [ 6 ]

The overlapping duologue echoes the flow of existent conversation or statement, thereby holding an impact on the gait of a scene, doing any silences more important. The gap act is good known because it represents five historical or fictional characters, all speaking over each other in an attempt to go chief narrator. However, I will concentrate on the statement between Marlene and her sister Joyce in the concluding act of the drama, where the duologue is heavy with personal history and both characters ‘ aims reflect the issues of the drama in a more pertinent and inexorable contemplation of Churchill ‘s purpose to show the monetary values of success.

David Eldridge ‘s Under the Blue sky was foremost performed in 2000 at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, an suitably intimate infinite for three volatile Acts of the Apostless of two-handers. Its resurgence in the summer of 2008 transported the drama to the Duke of York ‘s theater, where Eldridge reflected on the differences between a little theater infinite and a West End theater production, and on what he footings a “ cult of virginity ” in modern-day British theaters:

As one critic has noted, a resurgence is “ something that usually merely happens to the dead ” . Theatre in this state is presently preoccupied with a cult of virginity, with new dramas premiered and discarded in rapid sequence ; far more than it is fostering a modern-day repertory that will prolong modern playwriting long-run. [ 7 ]

The motives behind the drama derive from Eldridge ‘s reaction to how instructors are portrayed in play, but besides his involvement in the inquiry of unanswered love. Eldridge says of his purpose that ‘I did really much privation to chew over on the nature of unanswered love with three twosomes in different relationships and at different phases of their life ‘ . [ 8 ] These twosomes have an act each to consider on their single relationships. Eldridge shows that such temperamental capable affair obstructs character desires to show themselves, ensuing in the ‘unnerving cogent evidence that the organic structure of a instructor is at least every bit fallible as the head of a kid ‘ [ 9 ] , until the concluding act of the drama which ends on ‘a note of possibility ‘ . [ 10 ] I will concentrate on the gap act of the drama, between Nick and Helen which explores the impact of direct struggle of desires in the geographic expedition of unanswered love.

In the interlingual rendition from thought to speech, what do characters truly intend and what do they truly say in relation to their aims. Even if characters are trying to hide information, it is revealed, either through subtext or through an emotional effusion, therefore rising or pacing the play. The relationship between thought and speech production becomes a complication for the characters, in the struggle between privation and demand, rational and emotional, or truth and security.

Dialogue is used in expounding. Different devices reveal past events, including the conflicting aims behind the duologue which move the scene frontward. In both scenes the yesteryear is really much in the present, an obstruction to it, impacting the characters now. As a consequence, the procedure of communicating may be compromised, by a character seeking to hide or even change the yesteryear in an effort to protect themselves.

In both Top Girls and Under the Blue Sky the character driven duologue is stichomythic, organised into alternate lines. The duologue technique employed throughout Top Girls makes the characters overlap and interrupt each other. In the act between Joyce and Marlene the conversation is emotionally loaded with their history, so the duologue must work to light how of import their clashing volitions are to confirm the imbrication, and convey their ‘inner action ‘ . In contrast Under the Blue Sky delineates alternate lines to Nick and Helen, amid frequent intermissions, and strained laughter. Each dramatist employs the relationship between thought and talking otherwise. Joyce and Marlene speak as they think, as they react to the other ‘s words to avoid the obstructions put up by their controversies, whereas much of what Nick and Helen say is deliberated, to hide or protect. Each dramatist has defined opposing aims within the scene, to make struggle and accomplish a dramatic state of affairs. So dialogue ‘grows from the character and the struggle, and, in its bend, reveals the character and carries the action ‘ . [ 11 ]

Eldridge has structured his scene so that both characters ‘ wants are in resistance, so they must alter as they clash with obstructions put up by the other. Helen ‘s primary end is for Nick to uncover his desire to be the same as hers, but she discovers it is in direct contrast. So her aims alter to get the better of this and alter his head ; first she attempts to do him remain, so to happen ways to keep her presence in his life. In the remainder of the drama we learn what happens to them through what other characters say because they are non seen once more. From information gained through others, Eldridge provides suggestions of their go oning aims following on from Act One and indicates whether they are achieved, as they become obstructions to the drama ‘s new characters in the continuance of the narrative.

‘Although they are described with verbs, aims are non really done ; they are something the characters aim at making in the hereafter ‘ . [ 12 ] Therefore, the procedure of ‘actioning ‘ is cardinal to the duologue, despite it being an histrion exercising. Max Stafford Clark used this technique during dry runs for Top Girls and its telecasting version in 1991. In such a fast-paced, non-consecutive duologue that stems from rapid and unrestrained ideas this technique illuminates purpose behind each line and explores which character is in control at a peculiar point. In this concluding scene, the position of both sisters is comparatively equal in their aim, even if non in their societal place, intending that when one exerts more control over the other it is even more important. Joyce ‘s control is demonstrated through her opposition to Marlene ‘s efforts to pacify:

Marlene I did n’t truly intend all that

Joyce I did.

Marlene But we ‘re friends anyhow.

Joyce I do n’t believe so, no. [ 13 ]

Here, Joyce asserts the conclusiveness of her determination to be distanced from her sister. The kineticss of this statement in Top Girls ‘ reflects the nature of a conversation which has opened up old belligerencies between two sisters who are about aliens. So the duologue has become the agencies of pass oning their opposing wants and demands, ensuing in a heated, about incommunicative emotional exchange showing a clang of volitions and their shared history:

Dialogue can narrate and explicate thoughts. Fictional characters under emphasis, nevertheless, seldom halt to depict and analyze their ideas and feelings. Such duologue is rarely a cool academic argument. Alternatively it must uncover the strong emotions the characters feel for the practical result of their thoughts. [ 14 ]

The duologue is natural and emotional in its statement, conveying both character and he emphasis they are under to turn out their aims. It reveals truth, non merely about Angie, and illustrates characters who are bound together but clash so irrevocably. Dominic Droomgoole described the concluding act of Top Girls as a large, antique, stichomythic fisticuffs, a ball of love and fury, a authoritative bit where two political doctrines and two sisters practise how much they loath, and how much they need each other. The drama is a journey from high manner to high realistic emotion. [ 15 ]

Churchill ‘s techniques when outlining duologue has an expressed consequence on the exchange of conversation between characters and each line is carefully structured into its place within the organisation of the duologue as a whole ; her ‘slash and asterisk notation for breaks and convergences speeds up the duologue by compacting it: the cut indicates a point of break, the star indicates a common get downing point between two addresss ‘ . [ 16 ] These indicants of break besides highlight the immediateness of one character ‘s reaction to what the other has said before, showing how conversation is complicated, that people interrupt and do non listen to one another. So Churchill ‘s duologue is really true in its word picture of breaks and reactions and has a peculiar strength to it which echoes the unpredictable, complicated nature of conversation filled with such emphasis. The statement is non based entirely on Marlene ‘s unwelcome visit, but is burdened with their relationship as sisters. Thus they can delve into the roots of an statement which has been constrained for six old ages, and more. This relationship, and the history stemming from their connexion, is all but shattered, rendered secondary to the issues which mount between them and is possibly the calamity of the scene ; finally this bond can non be repaired by one or both of them because they have each chosen something more of import in its topographic point.

Throughout the scene, Marlene ‘s chief aim to lenify her guilt is continually evaded by her sister. This, as an obstruction put up by Joyce, stems from her ain desire for things to stay the same, even to protect against the possible menaces of Marlene ‘s visit. So Churchill promises dramatic struggle by doing them come in the scene with opposing ends. Following the first het exchange about “ gynecology ” [ 17 ] and the disclosure that Marlene is in fact Angie ‘s biological female parent, Marlene breaks down:

Marlene I was afraid of this.

I merely came because I thought you wanted…

I merely came…

Marlene calls

Joyce Do n’t brood Marlene, for God ‘s interest.

Marly? Come on, pet. Love you truly.

Sleep togethering halt it, will you?

Marlene No, allow me shout. I like it. [ 18 ]

Churchill demonstrates that there is still some feeling between them, before we witness the farther prostration of their relationship which follows this. In utilizing this minute where the duologue interruptions down and the aim is to comfort, Churchill entreaties to our sense of hope, but as the conversation builds one time more, as Marlene and Joyce inquiry each other to make full the spread of clip and of fondness whilst stealing in remarks about Angie, ‘I do n’t see why you could n’t take my money ‘ , [ 19 ] the distance between them is widened:

[ In the last scene ] , in an inordinately effectual piece of duologue, the characters seem to alter topographic points before our eyes ; Marlene shouts, weeps, pleads for understanding and it is Joyce who additions stature by rejecting her sister ‘s blandishment efforts at arousing a via media. [ 20 ]

Here, Churchill ‘s purpose is to make possibility, so shatter it, so ‘the drama offers a glance of fond dealingss between the sisters, before their political differences drive a cuneus between them one time and for all ‘ . [ 21 ] This is besides the minute where Marlene ‘s exposure is shown, as she apparently finds her muliebrity once more in the private company of her sister, wishing that she is eventually able to show it. Despite soothing Marlene, Joyce continues to ignore her efforts to compromise:

Marlene You ‘ve been fantastic looking after Angie.

Joyce Do n’t acquire carried off.

Marlene I ca n’t compose letters but I do believe of you.

Joyce You ‘re acquiring rummy. I ‘m traveling to do some tea.

Marlene Love you.

Joyce gets up to do tea.

Joyce I can see why you ‘d desire to go forth. It ‘s a shit here. [ 22 ]

Immediately, Joyce starts distancing one time more, doing it clear that these words are non plenty, later turn outing her as an obstruction to Marlene ‘s desire in that minute to be comforted. In Joyce ‘s reluctance to mend the relationship with her sister, the promise of declaration is threatened one time more ; and is exacerbated by the political stance of each character, as they eventually set up a lasting gulf between them:

During the concluding scene, Churchill repeatedly gestures toward rapprochement as a possibility that remains unfulfilled. In the concluding minutes of the drama, the sisters recognize that a chasm has opened up between them-though they come from the same household background, their present socioeconomic and political differences place them on opposite sides of the divide between “ us ” and “ them ” . Churchill keeps these places in dialectical resistance, defying synthesis or declaration, through Joyce ‘s perennial rejections of Marlene ‘s efforts to gloss over their differences… The outlook of rapprochement remains frustrated right through the sisters ‘ concluding exchange. [ 23 ]

Throughout the scene, the sisters invariably challenge each other ‘s personal and political positions. The menace of alteration is something that scares Joyce, which Marlene takes as green-eyed monster because she was able to go forth, but at great cost to her household, gender and future relationships. In this concluding act, Churchill shows that things do run deeper than blood, that a individual ‘s beliefs can be an obstruction to comfort they seek, and intensifies the drama ‘s significance that Marlene has sacrificed more than a girl for the interest of the Individual.

The chief nonsubjective informing the duologue between Joyce and Marlene is to state the other what their life has been like, to warrant their picks. However, these claims are complicated by the obstruction of memory and its disagreements, or consider blocking of certain facts. Furthermore, both sisters have something to state, in a heightened state of affairs, where both claims are valid, but there is nil to let for polite, uninterrupted conversation. Churchill uses duologue to open up old statements, showing how the past affects their picks, through expounding within the argument which reveals much about why and how they have reached their current beliefs and state of affairs. For illustration, Marlene references sing their female parent earlier and remarks on how she had a otiose life, and Joyce reacts, undermines Marlene ‘s sentiment when she feels that her ain picks and manner of life have come under onslaught:

Joyce You say mother had a otiose life.

Marlene Yes I do. Married to that asshole.

Joyce What kind of life did he hold? / Working in the Fieldss like

Marlene Violent life?

Joyce an animate being. / Why would n’t he desire a drink?

Marlene Come off it.

Joyce You want a drink. He could n’t afford whiskey.

Marlene I do n’t desire to speak about him.

Joyce You started, I was speaking about her. She had a icky life because she had nil. She went hungry.

Marlene She went hungry because he drank the money. / He used to hit her.

Joyce It ‘s non all down to him. / Their lives were rubbish. They

Marlene She did n’t hit him.

Joyce were treated like trash. He ‘s dead and she ‘ll decease shortly and what kind of life / did they hold?

Marlene I saw him one dark. I came down… I had to acquire out,

Joyce Jealous?

Marlene I knew when I was thirteen, out of their house, out of them, ne’er let that go on to me, / ne’er allow him, do my ain manner, out. [ 24 ]

This highlights a figure of of import inside informations. First, Churchill has illustrated the household life Marlene and Joyce lived as kids through their clashing memories of it, and the impact of their dissension on the criterion of life alters the possibility of them happening a common land. Their sentiments, peculiarly of their male parent, inform the ulterior argument about their separate political beliefs ; demoing that the personal does act upon these political relations. Furthermore, this duologue demonstrates how these two worlds clash, even though these characters portion the same yesteryear. Churchill besides reveals here how Marlene knew she needed to get away this life and the drift which led her to where she is now ; and non even her bastard girl would halt her. In contrast, Joyce ‘s ability to associate to her parents ‘ lives and her desire to maintain things the same means that Marlene can non decently understand why Joyce could non go forth. Marlene has become a separate person, outside this life, this household. Because Churchill ‘s duologue moves at the velocity of idea and there is so much to state, there is no respite. Alternatively the ‘argument is a bibulous one between two angry sisters, non a considered political appraisal, and is exaggerated and oversimplified on both sides ‘ , [ 25 ] so the duologue gives substance to these character as blemished people, in the heat of the minute, uncovering expounding in their efforts to warrant themselves and the beginnings of their clashing aims, to guarantee an emotional strength.

In contrast to the overlapping exchange in Top Girls, the scene between Nick and Helen in Under the Blue Sky relies on duologue which is preponderantly thought through. The thought procedures of the characters inform the gait of the duologue, which is symbolized in the methodical preparing and cookery of the chili and Acts of the Apostless as something to return to in the awkward silences, and as ingredients are added and it gets hotter, the conversation escalates. The mechanical actions of cooking contrasted with emotional duologue creates strength which is emphasized by the minute it is ignored: ‘When [ the H2O ] boils neither of them takes any notice ‘ . [ 26 ]

In her reappraisal of the 2008 resurgence, Deborah Orr concluded that the state of affairs of this first act is that ‘Helen loves Nick, and Nick loves being loved by her. There, if he ‘s honest, his involvement ends ‘ . [ 27 ] This is where the clang of aims prevarications in the scene. Helen hopes that Nick ‘s invitation to dinner will be a farther invitation to progress their relationship. She enters the scene anticipating this will go on. Nick ‘s disclosure that he is go forthing to better his calling, besides a screen for his desire to understate any opportunity of fostering their relationship, becomes Helen ‘s chief obstruction. Nick ‘s primary aim is to detain uncovering this information, until Helen asks the inevitable inquiry:

A long intermission.

Helen So what ‘s this thing you wanted to speak to me about?

Nick looks at Helen and thinks.

Nick Let ‘s delay until after dinner. Yeah? Ok, darling

Nick smilings. Helen drinks. [ 28 ]

Nick ‘s answer to the inquiry is really considered, he thinks and he delays. What is communicated in these given aims is that these characters enter a scene where the procedure will be harmful and complicated. The impact of Nick ‘s intermissions and careful discourse is enhanced when the scene becomes, necessarily, more emotional, Helen takes the intelligence severely, and Nick fails to get by good with her reaction.

Once Nick admits he is go forthing, he so has to get the better of the obstruction of Helen ‘s desire to understand why, without acknowledging the existent ground. So he undertakings his guilt onto Helen, thereby blockading his ability to be honorable with her.

Nick It is n’t my responsibility to be unhappy. I owe it to myself to be happy in my work and I ‘m non. Why are you seeking to set me on this immense guilt trip?

Helen I ‘m non doing you experience guilty. You feel guilty. If you ‘re experiencing guilty do n’t fault your guilt on me.

Nick Helen, you ‘re being so hard on me.

Helen Am I?

Nick I thought I could speak to you about this. [ 29 ]

Both characters want to cognize what the other is believing before they speak, but neither is willing to travel foremost. Both postpone their admittances in fright of the reactions they will have as a consequence. At this point, Helen ‘s desire moves from converting Nick to remain, guaranting him that the state of affairs in their school will alter, before appealing on a more personal degree. Helen acts as Nick ‘s obstruction, ‘This is like speaking to a brick wall ‘ [ 30 ] . Both of them are thrown, because control is stealing off as their aims are challenged, and Eldridge shows expeditiously how rarely conversation goes harmonizing to program, peculiarly prevalent in this scene because these characters are seeking to hide what they came to state. Finally though, they are forced to joint these ideas, weathering embarrassment, letdown, or as Helen says, ‘I feel like I ‘m shriveling in forepart of you ‘ [ 31 ] .

The usage of intoxicant in the scene besides allows the duologue to intensify, and enables them to discourse the yesteryear between them, which is dramatically impacting the present and uncovering of import inside informations about their relationship. The yesteryear is an obstruction because it confuses things soon, and memory is subjective or unremembered. Helen is taken back to this clip through a negative association and later becomes emotionally exposed. Once Nick suddenly reveals that they slept together and that he thinks it was a error, his effort at explicating himself blowbacks, flooring Helen into responding to this truth.

Helen No, you were rummies and you wanted it… The things you said to me.

Dent When

Helen That clip. Then.

Nick I was rummy.

A little intermission

I did n’t cognize what I was stating.

Helen You were heavy and annoyed and you moved me around the bed like I was a prone organic structure. But your words? The things you said. Your promises… Your memory of it is that we were both rummies but I was sober. I remember every gawky motion and every word you said like it ‘s shot through my memory.

A little intermission

I thought tonight would be my bend. You know that? To fall on you. Half cut. [ 32 ]

The usage of the word ‘promises ‘ is repeated throughout the scene and has a connotative impact on the duologue ; connoting hope and outlook. Consequently, the thought of broken or unremembered promises heightens the emotional content of the scene. Eldridge uses this repeat to warn his characters, basically, about the danger of doing promises to get away a hard state of affairs.

Throughout this scene, the conversation goes round in circles as the issue is avoided but everlastingly at the Centre. The characters fail to pass on in a manner in that they can accomplish their primary aims, so they must change as the conversation continues. However, Eldridge uses a dramatic gesture to pass on a strong aim. When Helen foremost picks up the knife to demo her experience of being attacked, there is no danger, but it does bode what comes subsequently in the scene. Equally much as she is appalled by this event, Helen uses the knife to respond in a manner that she has been reacted against to do her point. Choosing to put a knife in the scene may look melodramatic, but in fact Eldridge gives Helen a really important manner of pass oning her aim, which heightens the tenseness and reveals more about this character, an indispensable technique as she ne’er appears physically after this scene. At this point, Helen is pass oning, where words are non plenty. With this device in her manus, she is able to state certain things: ‘You ‘re non traveling… I ‘m non traveling to allow you go forth ‘ [ 33 ] and we understand that Helen has been ‘driven to distraction ‘ [ 34 ] by this state of affairs.

In his geographic expedition of unanswered love, Eldridge has shown the ferociousness of his subject and how it has affected both characters when their state of affairs is based on colliding personal aims, ‘portraying the hurting that they both feel when confronted with a love that one of them will non acknowledge and the other can no longer maintain within bounds ‘ [ 35 ] The characters are unable to pass on successfully, neglecting to accomplish these ends. Of class, this creates the tenseness and the play in the scene. The drama is ‘a all right geographic expedition of the barbarous inequality of love, and of the force passion can stir in even the gentlest psyche. [ Lisa Dillon ‘s ( Helen ) ] vulnerable, dyspneic strength strongly captures the hurting of unanswered love ‘ . [ 36 ] The wane and flow of the conversation, keeps the gait and lures both characters and audience into false security when the duologue returns to the cookery chili before returning back to the cardinal issue, connoting that this is a safe topographic point for both characters to return to, merely for a brief respite in the heavy duologue. In many ways, this device is rather exacerbating because the characters need to turn to what is between them, but still are unable to pass on with each other. Nick keeps stating Helen to speak to him, but neither will acknowledge before the other, which is why the conversation continually rises and falls.

Nick Why ca n’t you state what you feel?

Helen Say what?

A intermission

Nick I ‘m baffled. You ‘re clearly non. But you merely of all time run into me midway emotionally. And I do n’t cognize if that ‘s good. I do n’t cognize how I feel about it. Us. I feel truly confused.

Helen So am I.

Nick I do n’t believe you are. I am… Of class I wanted you to speak about your personal feelings.

Helen Personal feelings.

She ca n’t believe it. A little intermission

So I can set my bosom and backbones on the floor in forepart of you? Sob and wail like a widow and trust it might alter your head? And in the procedure corroborate your intestine experiencing it might be good for us to see less of each other. Good for you to see less of me. While you create a new life for yourself in Essex. Is that what you want? Well, you can acquire stuffed.

Helen attempts to go forth. Nick stands in her manner. [ 37 ]

This, along with frequent intermissions, paces the statement and ensures the portraiture of the awkward inhuman treatment of Eldridge ‘s subject of unanswered love. Contrary to Exceed Girls where there is so much to be said and it is being said, for Nick and Helen, what needs to be said is punctuated by silences and tenseness which intensifies the weight that hangs in the air between them.

Are either of these scenes about successful communicating, and are any of the characters ‘ able to get the better of the obstructions to accomplish their aims? In Under the Blue Sky, Nick communicates his existent ground for go forthing through what is left out of the duologue, until eventually squealing. Helen ‘s nonsubjective becomes centred on her protection from exposure, which she is unable in the terminal to stamp down. In Top Girls, the sisters are speaking, but they are besides viing to be heard. The competition they are playing out involves turn outing who has sacrificed the most. Churchill used this statement to demo how their personal experiences informed the patterned advance into a political argument.

At the terminal of both Acts, the issues between the characters are non resolved and the duologue has traced the ideas they have been seeking to hide or non. Issues are left hanging in the air. For Marlene and Joyce, this encompasses the thought of solidarity, of sistership which has been usurped by their political ideals. Nick ‘s suggestion to ‘put the last 30 minutes behind us ‘ [ 38 ] ensures that it will be hanging over them even if they agree non to voice it, merely it has ever been ; it even prevails throughout the other two Acts of the Apostless of the drama. Despite the procedure of duologue in the scene and the clangs of wants and demands, things have changed but nil has been resolved. In both dramas we know what happens afterwards ; Under the Blue Sky communicates these events through the duologue of others ; and in Top Girls it has already happened in the drama. The significances that stem from these determinations guarantee that we ne’er reach any declaration in either state of affairs. Although we are told that Nick and Helen continue to be friends, we know that the issue from Act One has non been addressed once more, which becomes the ruin of both of them: Helen dies and Nick is left to experience guilty about why. The placing of the concluding scene in Top Girls changes the kernel of the narrative and its significance in relation to Marlene ‘s success, which defies the ideals of individuality and the positives of Marlene ‘s success in a apparently male-dominated universe. It besides means that in hindsight the impact of this scene on the remainder of the drama takes on a new emotional force. Because both dramatists have written these scenes between two characters, the action is scaled down and hence emerges through the duologue. It becomes the most direct manner of pass oning character wants, struggles and obstructions, peculiarly effectual as the other characters prove to be the obstruction. These characters use duologue to carry, appease, entreaty to, abuse, instruct, upset, challenge, dissuade, choler, justice, apologise, be honest, prevarication, conceal, explain and reveal, to convey character ‘inner action ‘ in an geographic expedition of the dramatic struggle of volitions, using changing degrees of tenseness and showing back-story through address which is now populating in each present state of affairs. By the terminal of both dramas, the relationships have been ended in some important manner and because of the dramatists ‘ determinations to put the scene where they have, or ne’er to demo these characters once more these plays become more provocative and ambitious, in the deficiency of control over any declaration.


Primary Beginnings:

  • Churchill, Caryl, ‘Top Girls ‘ , Plays 2 ( London: Methuen, 1990 )
  • Eldridge, David, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , Plays 1 ( London: Methuen, 2005 )


  • Edgar, David How Plays Work ( London: Nick Hern Books, 2009 )
  • Droomgoole, Dominic, The Full Room: An A-Z of Contemporary Playwriting ( London: Methuen, 2002 )
  • Egri, Lajos, The Art of Dramatic Writing: It ‘s Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives ( New York: Touchstone, 2004 )
  • FitzSimmons, Linda, ( ed. ) File on Churchill ( London: Methuen, 1989 )
  • Rumens, Carol, “ The Price of Success ” , Times Literary Supplement, 24 September 1982
  • Churchill, Caryl, Unpublished Correspondence between Churchill and Wolfgang Huber, Dramaturg of Ensemble Th. , Vienna, during Rehearsals for the Austrian Premiere, 2 April 1986
  • Thomas, James, Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers ( Boston: Focal Press, 1999 )
  • Whybrow, Graham, The Methuen Book of Modern Drama: Plaies of the ’80s and ’90s ( London: Methuen, 2001 )

On-line Diaries:

  • Cameron, Rebecca, “ From Great Women to Exceed Girls: Pageants of Sisterhood in British Feminist Theatre ” , Comparative Drama, 43:2 ( Summer 2009 ) pp.143-166 in Project Muse hypertext transfer protocol: // comparative_drama/v043/43.2.camero n.html # f29-text [ Accessed 08-12-09 ]

On-line Articles:

  • Eldridge, David, “ Turning Strivings: What ‘s it Like When Your Small Play Gets A Big West End Transfer? David Eldridge on Bad Reviews, Dodging the Tabloids – and Catherine Tate on Crutches ” , The Guardian, 19 August 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 05-12-09 ]
  • Fisher, Peter, “ Under the Blue Sky ” , The British Theatre Guide ( 2008 ) hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 30-11-09 ]
  • Nightingale, Benedict, “ Under the Blue Sky at the Duke of York ‘s Theatre, London WC2 ” Times Online, 26 July 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 14-12-09 ]
  • Spencer, Charles, “ Under the Blue Sky: Sizzling with Sexuality ” The Telegraph, 28 July 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 30-11-09 ]
  • Wise, Louise, “ Under the Blue Sky at Duke of York ‘s Theatre – The Sunday Times Review ” , Times Online 3 August 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // [ accessed 19-11-09 ]

Web sites:

  • Eldridge, David and Heather Neill, Interview for, recorded 30 July 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // ? audioID=593 [ Accessed 18-11-09 ]


  1. Eldridge, David, Seminar Notes on ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , University of Birmingham, 2 November 2009
  2. Lajos Egri, The Art of Dramatic Writing: It ‘s Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives ( New York: Touchstone, 2004 ) p.254
  3. James Thomas, Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers, Second Edition ( Boston: Focal Press, 1999 ) p.49
  4. David Edgar, How Plays Work ( London: Nick Hern Books, 2009 ) p.48
  5. David Edgar, How Plays Work, p.48
  6. James Thomas, Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers, Second Edition, p.140
  7. Graham Whybrow, ‘Introduction ‘ , The Methuen Book of Modern Drama: Plaies of the ’80s and ’90s ( London: Methuen, 2001 ) pp.vii-viii
  8. David Eldridge, “ Turning Strivings: What ‘s It Like When Your Small Play Gets A Big West End Transfer? David Eldridge on Bad Reviews, Dodging the Tabloids – and Catherine Tate on Crutches ” , The Guardian, 19 Aug 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 05-12-09 ]
  9. David Eldridge in interview with Heather Neill for, recorded 30 July, 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // ? audioID=592 [ Accessed 18-11-09 ]
  10. Benedict Nightingale, “ Under the Blue Sky at the Duke of York ‘s Theatre, London WC2 ” Times Online, 26 July 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 14-12-09 ]
  11. David Eldridge, Seminar notes on Under the Blue Sky, University of Birmingham, 2 November 2009
  12. Lajos Egri, The Art of Dramatic Writing: It ‘s Basis in the Creative Interpretation of Human Motives, p.265
  13. James Thomas, Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers, p.85
  14. Caryl Churchill, ‘Top Girls ‘ , Plays 2 ( London: Methuen, 1990 ) p.141
  15. James Thomas, Script Analysis for Actors, Directors, and Designers, p.141
  16. Dominic Droomgoole, The Full Room: An A-Z of Contemporary Playwriting ( London: Methuen, 2002 ) p.53
  17. David Edgar, How Plays Work, p.163
  18. Caryl Chuchill, ‘Top Girls ‘ , p.135
  19. Caryl Churchill, ‘Top Girls ‘ , p.135
  20. Caryl Churchill, ‘Top Girls ‘ , p.137
  21. Carol Rumens, “ The Price of success ” , ‘Times Literary Supplement 24 September 1982 ‘ , File on Churchill, erectile dysfunction. Linda FitzSimmons ( London ; Methuen, 1989 ) p.1035
  22. Rebecca Cameron, “ From Great Women to Exceed Girls: Pageants of Sisterhood in British Feminist Theatre ” , Comparative Drama, 43:2 ( Summer 2009 ) pp.143-166 in Project Muse hypertext transfer protocol: // comparative_drama/v043/43.2.camero n.html # f29-text [ Accessed 08-12-09 ] p.161
  23. Caryl Churchill, ‘Top Girls ‘ , p.136
  24. Rebecca Cameron, “ From Great Women to Exceed Girls: Pageants of Sisterhood in British Feminist Theatre ” , Comparative Drama, p.162
  25. Caryl Churchill, ‘Top Girls ‘ , pp.138-139
  26. Caryl Churchill, ‘Unpublished Correspondence between Churchill and Wolfgang Huber, Dramaturg of Ensemble Th. , Vienna, during Rehearsals for the Austrian Premiere, 2 April 1986 ( Dir. Peter Gruber ) ‘ , File on Churchill, erectile dysfunction. Linda FitzSimmons, p.64
  27. David Eldridge, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , Plays 1 ( London: Methuen, 2005 ) p.205
  28. Deborah Orr, ‘Under A Blue Sky, Duke of York ‘s Theatre: ‘A ‘ for Effort, but Catherine Tate fails to go through the trial ‘ , The Independent, Saturday 26 August 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 30-11-09 ]
  29. David Eldridge, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , p.190
  30. David Eldridge, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , p.196
  31. David Eldridge, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , p.197
  32. David Eldridge, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , p.202
  33. David Eldridge, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , pp.201-203
  34. David Eldridge, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , p.208
  35. Louise Wise, “ Under the Blue Sky at Duke of York ‘s Theatre – The Sunday Times Review ” , Times Online, 3 August 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // /article 4443851.ece [ Accessed 19-11-09 ]
  36. Philip Fisher, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , The British Theatre Guide, 2008, hypertext transfer protocol: // reviews/underbluesky-rev.htm [ Accessed 30-11-09 ]
  37. Charles Spencer, “ Under the Blue Sky: Sizzling with Sexuality ” The Telegraph, 28 July 2008 hypertext transfer protocol: // [ Accessed 30-11-09 ]
  38. David Eldridge, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , p.199-200
  39. David Eldridge, ‘Under the Blue Sky ‘ , p.212

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