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Wye Plays

The Back of Beyond and The Battle of the Crows

A first volume of plays by a startlingly ambitious and inventive dramatist.

The Back of Beyond takes, as its starting point, the route of a sequel to King Lear, in which the surviving Shakespearean characters set out on an odyssey through a perilous, blasted landscape, and encounter new agents of cruelty, desire and magic. Wildly humorous and fiercely shocking, the play charts a series of remorseless exposures, interrogating the idealisms and brutal repressions that have informed Anglo-Welsh relations whilst subverting Shakespearean motifs; tragically humorous poetic language and nightmarish visual imagery contribute to the sense of a land where the signposts have been smashed.
A sequel to The Back of BeyondThe Battle of the Crows extends and concludes the stories of three characters - a maverick witch, a renegade knight, and an abuse victim made empress - in a harrowing and humorous exploration of border warfare, witchcraft, massacre, bitchery, hilarity and heartbreak. The Battle of the Crows is partly a dramatic speculation about desire as magic, partly a sad reckless laugh at internecine hostilities and the passionate and disastrous transformations which spring up in the face of Death itself.

128 pages | 6-3/4 x 9-1/2


Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works

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Table of Contents

On Being a Shakespearian Dramatist: An Approach to The Back of Beyond 
The Back of Beyond 
Hatched in Emptiness, Over Emptiness, But Flying: An Introduction to The Battle of the Crows
The Battle of the Crows
Afterword: Grace and Havoc: Shape-Shifting and the Imaginative Landscape of The Wye Plays, by Mick Mangan 
About the Author  
Further Reading
About Lurking Truth/Gwir sy’n Llechu

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