1T03 reading- cloud nine .docx

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Theatre & Film Studies
Peter Cockett

1T03 reading:  Cloud Nine – Caryl Churchill 03/06/2014 Cloud Nine • Caryl Churchill (1938) born in England • Began education in canada during WWII • Most exciting device used in the play is use of Cross-dressing and role-doubling • By alienating actors from character they play churhill intends to raise awareness of issue of gender, sexual orientation, and race as ideological issues • Betty is played by man because clive and his patriarchal society cannot envision womens identity; women constructed on basis of male attitudes • Joshua played by white man because imperial/racist culture reduces African identity to the construction of the white attitudes • Edward played by woman to express the impossibility of his conforming to clive’s heterosexual standards • Each actor in act 1, takes on a different role in act 2, inviting audience to draw comparison between the 2 • These techniques have specific meanings in the theme of the play • By denaturalizing concepts of gender, sex, and race, it undertakes a typically post modern inquiry into the construction of social reality, asking what meanings they create and how they work to structure the relationship between the self and society • Written for Joint Stock Theatre group • Workshop for Cloud Nine was about sexual politics Scene 1 Act 1: • Low bright sun. Vurandah, flagpole w/ union jack. The family – cilve, betty, Edward, victoria, maud, ellen, Joshua • Clive is away on service a lot; they are not in England for fun • Betty is lonely when clive is gone • She often gets hysteria/faints • Joshua gets in trouble for talking back to betty • Joshua plays it off as though he was only joking with betty • Clive doesn’t want to see Edward minding the toy doll for Vicky • Harry the explorer and Mrs. Saunders the widow arrive • Men expect trouble to be coming; warning one another to stay armed • Betty seems flirtatious with harry • She believes he is outgoing/dangerous, and she wants to be that way too • He believes she is safe; like home Joshua walks in on conversation between harry and betty Harry goes to fuck Joshua in the barn? Act 2: An open space some distance from the house. Mrs. Saunders alone, breathless. She is carrying a riding crop. Clive arrives. Mrs. Saunders tries to take off from the house, clive stops her Clive has been attracted to her since the moment he say her; they have even had sex Clive and Mrs. Saunders have sex in the field Mrs. Saunders does not like him, but she likes the sensation he gives her Women criticized for playing with a ball; only allowed to be spectators and cheer men on “a boy has no business having feelings” harry states that his life is not all that great; having a big family is the empire Joshua tells clive that the stable boys are sneaky, and betty has an eye for harry Betty forces Joshua to take maud back to the house so she can get some alone time with harry Betty tells harry that she will kill herself if she cannot be with him Harry needs betty to stay with clive Edward
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