Cover image for Far away
Far away
Churchill, Caryl.
Personal Author:
First TCG edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Theatre Communications Group, 2001.

Physical Description:
44 pages ; 20 cm
General Note:
"A Nick Hern book"--T.p. verso.

Originally published: London : Nick Hern, 2000.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PR6053.H786 F3 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"Chilling... Churchill's play seems to reinvent drama with every other line." - Village Voice

"A masterpiece from one of the most valuable playwrights working today. Churchill is that rare dramatist who imagines different forms and even invented languages every time out." - Chicago Tribune

"Deeply disturbing. Far Away has the picturesque form and gentle rhythms of a fairy tale told at bedtime. But it also finds a grating alarm in traditional sounds of comfort, from the lapping of a stream and the lilt of a lullaby to the hesitating confidences exchanged by a boy and girl falling in love... I can think of no contemporary playwright who combines such scope of imagination and depth of purpose." -Ben Brantley, New York Times

Far Away opens on a girl questioning her aunt about having seen her uncle hitting people with an iron bar. Several years later, the whole world is at war - including birds and animals. The girl has returned to her aunt to take refuge and begins to describe her journey: "There were piles of bodies and if you stopped to find out there was one killed by coffee or one killed by pins, they were killed by heroin, petrol, chainsaws, hairspray, bleach, foxgloves, the smell of smoke was where we were burning the grass that wouldn't serve..."

Caryl Churchill has written for the stage, television and radio. A renowned and prolific playwright, her plays include Cloud Nine, Top Girls, Far Away, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?, Bliss, Love and Information, Mad Forest and A Number . In 2002, she received the Obie Lifetime Achievement Award and 2010, she was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

Author Notes

Carl Churchill, also spelled as Caryl Churchill, was born in London, England, on September 3, 1938. Growing up, Churchill lived in both England and Canada and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, in 1960. While at Oxford, Churchill became interested in theatre and went on to write three plays while she was there. After graduation, Churchill spent the next ten years writing plays, including "Lovesick" and "Schreber's Nervous Illness," which were broadcast on the BBC.

In 1974, Churchill began working for the Royal Court Theatre as a resident playwright and two years later she joined the Joint Stock Theatre Group, an organization that uses collective collaboration between actors, writers, and directors when creating theatrical works.

Churchill has also written dozens of books over the years, among them Blue Heart, Cloud Nine, and Hotel: In a Room Anything Can Happen. Looked upon as a voice of post-modernism, Churchill is well known for her use of dramatic structure.

(Bowker Author Biography) In the early 1980s, Churchill suddenly became one of the contemporary British dramatists best represented on New York stages, as three of her plays were produced in succession. Cloud Nine (1978), directed by Tommy Tune, held the stage for two years and won an Obie (as did Top Girls, 1982). In England Churchill's career has been less abrupt, a long migration among the characteristic outlets of the new drama. From 1961 to 1972, she wrote radio plays. Owners (1972) was her first stage work commissioned by the Royal Court, where she became resident dramatist in 1974, and which staged Objections to Sex and Violence in 1975.

The following year Churchill began working with two of the important fringe theater companies. One company was Joint Stock for which she wrote Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, (1976), Cloud Nine, and Fen (1982). The other was a feminist group named Monstrous Regiment for which she wrote Vinegar Tom (1976), and contributions to the revue Floorshow. The Lucille Lortel Theatre (New York) production of Cloud Nine in 1981 ushered in the most recent, transatlantic phase of Churchill's career. New York's Public Theater, as well as London's Royal Court, staged versions of Top Girls in 1982.

Churchill writes many different kinds of plays. Examples are Ortonesque, about the grotesques of Owners, historical as in versions of the seventeenth century in Light Shining, about the English Civil War, and Vinegar Tom, about witchcraft. She also writes expressionist (the cross-sexual casting and doubling in Cloud Nine), and formally experimental (the permutations of situation in her dramatic Mobius strip, Traps). She is increasingly feminist in outlook. But, if her demonstrations of sexual liberation are sometimes pat (as in the second half of Cloud Nine), her theatrical adventurousness is always invigorating.

(Bowker Author Biography)