Stephens Plays: 2 brings together four major plays by this award-winning playwright from the first decade of the twenty-first century and the short play Sea Wall, first produced at the Bush Theatre in October 2008. The collection features an introduction by the author.
Year of Publication
'It's only half-an-hour long, but Simon Stephens's one-man play Sea Wall packs an enormous emotional punch... The ever-exciting playwright Simon Stephens...has a pitch-perfect ear for narrative and holds back crucial plot details, while spinning off both into inconsequential and amusing anecdotes and existential angst... A spellbinding reminder of the power of story-telling in all its glorious simplicity.' ' Alice Jones, Independent, 13.8.09 Sea Wall lasts only half as long at 30 minutes but, paradoxically, contains more by leaving more out...Stephens's protagonist...circles round the issues of God and bereavement but never addresses either directly for more than a second or two.' Ian Shuttleworth, Financial Times, 9.8.09 'Sea Wall [is] one of the most devastating 30 minutes that you are ever likely to experience in the theatre. This monologue drenched in grief, told by a man who has lost everything, is not easy viewing: every word settles into your bones and grows cold there...The extraordinary power of Sea Wall is that it is concerned with both the domestic and the majestic. "Why" is the unspoken question that resonates around the theatre. Stephens offers no answer, but he realises that it is our need to know that makes us human.The extraordinary power of Sea Wall is that it is concerned with both the domestic and the majestic. "Why" is the unspoken question that resonates around the theatre. Stephens offers no answer, but he realises that it is our need to know that makes us human.' Lyn Gardner, Guardian, 12.8.09 'It's a delicate wisp of a thing, like a curl of cigarette-smoke exhaled in a moment of mournful reverie. After contact with it, sure enough, your eyes are welling up, and you're starting to choke... Stephens's writing...has a rich feel for the embarrassments, detours, short-cuts and comic self-deprecations of everyday speech.' Dominic Cavendish, Daily Telegraph, 7.8.09 'He writes so passionately and soulfully for ordinary people who are in really difficult predicaments. People who are violent, or whatever, can have immense humanity in them as well - Simon writes about that very well.' Daniel Mays, actor
Simon Stephens has been the recipient of both the Pearson Award for Best New Play 2001-2 for his play Port, and the Olivier Award for Best New Play 2005 for On the Shore of the Wide World. His most recent major play, Pornography, was produced at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival.