Howard Brenton: The Churchill Play

(915 words)
  • John Baker
  • Steve Barfield (University of Human Development, Suleymanyia, Iraqi Kurdistan)

In The Churchill Play (Nottingham Playhouse, 1974), Howard Brenton offers a dystopian vision of a future fascistic Britain. The play is set in 1984, in an aircraft hangar in Churchill Camp, an internment camp for “undesirables”. Social unrest has led to the adoption of extreme authoritarian measures by the British government against its own people, including detention without trial; torture and arbitrary killing. The play opens with one of Brenton's most striking uses of the alienation technique, reminiscent of the equally disorientating start of Christie in Love. We are shown four servicemen mounting guard on the catafalque of Sir Winston Churchill in January 1965; suddenly, noises are heard from within the coffin, …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Citation:
Baker, John, Steve Barfield. "The Churchill Play". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 February 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=13573, accessed 30 July 2015.]