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The Contracting Sea; The Hanging Judge; Bite or Suck
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ISBN 9781841501840
Paperback 96 pages
Published March 2008
Imprint: Intellect
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Books by David Ian Rabey
Books in Performing Arts
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Chapter Titles     |      Reviews     |      Comments

Lovefuries offers a double bill of performance pieces that explode national and personal pressures to keep silent, and explore the surprising and shocking resurgences of life that break through grief.

In The Contracting Sea, the fiancée of a just-shipwrecked sailor is challenged by a feminine elemental force of catastrophe to throw off the shackles of her common humanity. The second play, The Hanging Judge, explores from the inside an occurrence of sexual abuse in a contemporary Welsh context, and how one survivor finds the courage to discover defiance. This second volume of dramatist-director Rabey’s plays for his own Lurking Truth/Gwir sy’n Llechu theatre company also includes the short two-hander Bite or Suck, completing a collection of innovative drama that restlessly explores what is possible at the extreme boundaries of human language and physicality.

David Ian Rabey is Professor of Drama and Theatre Studies at Aberystwyth University, and Artistic Director of Lurking Truth/Gwir sy’n Llechu theatre company, which he co-founded in 1985.

Part of the Playtext series
Chapter titles
'On Rabey's First Volume, The Wye Plays'
Page 7
'Author’s Introduction: All the Rage' - Page 9
David Ian Rabey
'Lovefuries: Production Details'
Page 17
'The Contracting Sea' - Page 21
David Ian Rabey
'The Hanging Judge' - Page 43
David Ian Rabey
'Shattering All Excuse: A Performer’s Perspective on The Hanging Judge' - Page 59
Roger Owen
'Bite or Suck'
David Ian Rabey
'Afterword: The Lurking Truths of the Self' - Page 89
Karoline Gritzner
'About the Author'
Page 95
'Lurking Truth/Gwir sy’n Llechu Theatre Company'
Page 96
'Stylish and stylistically challenging work... a riveting and explosively physical performance.' – Irish Times

'A gem of concise, meaningful new drama which deserves to be seen more widely as an illustration of the sort of theatre Wales is capable of producing.' – Gill Ogden, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

'A raw double bill of one-handers, each performer, one male, one female, a dangerously erotic presence on the space. The Terse prose congeals to a harsh uningratiating poetry, that can ambush us with sudden fierce epiphanies, sometimes even blank verse: Decorum is the only sin / Its sour restriction to a living grave.' – David Rudkin

'Erasing traditional Western dichotomies of body and mind, emotion and intellect, Hermann Nitsch's work [and] the plays of Howard Barker, Sarah Kane and David Ian Rabey [share] an obsession with sexualised violence and sacrifice, calling attention to both their contemporaneity and status as the basis of ancient and tragic rituals of radical, catastrophic experiences. The more one opens oneself to these texts and performances, the paler seems most contemporary theatre (often paling to complete nothingness); images and texts linger in the imagination long after the direct experience. ' – George Hunka, Superfluities Redux: On Culture and Theatre blog

'When the drama teacher, John Owen, was accused of abusing school pupils, a lecturer from Aberystwyth University wrote a visceral play on the subject. David Ian Rabey was a friend of one of the young people who suffered… ' – Golwg

'Breathtaking [...] The struggle is fierce, suspenseful, and genuinely surprising in its outcome ' – Theatre in Wales

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