Fen
by Caryl Churchill
June 1991
~ Directed by Angela Reiss ~

Against the flat, bleak landscape of the Fenlands, men and women are cramped into bitterness by grinding labour and economic oppression.

Fen is composed of brief, fiercely resonant scenes, carving with powerful humanity the desolate lives of the village’s men and women. Three girls sing of being hairdressers or housewives when they grow up. Angela makes her stepdaughter drink water from the kettle. The representative of a City corporation purrs and placates her way to buying a farm that has been in the same family for generations. Ninety-year-old Ivy dreams aloud of union struggles. But the hard spine of the play is Val, a thirty-year-old who finds herself caught between her children and her lover – happy in brief moments, yet tormented past hope.

First performed in 1983, Fen is a flinty, eerie play, haunted by the ghosts of starving field workers and claustrophobic in its condemnation of agrarian and social exploitation.

Cast
Jo BurnhamVarious roles
Jan Palmer SayerVarious roles
Carol MonzeglioVarious roles
Jocelyn AddisVarious roles
Tony MasonVarious roles
Claudia McKelveyVariious roles
Crew
Richard HensonSet
Margo LadellStage Manager
Cath MulroneyStage Manager
Peter StubbsLighting
Tony MasonSound Production
Wendy HoganSound Operator
Chris JanesSound Operator
Jackie ClarkeProperties
Viv RichardsonProperties
Joan HodgesWardrobe
Suzanne VernonWardrobe
Marion WillsPrompt
Betty JanesProduction Secretary