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Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA
Ended 7 May 2011 after 3 months
Rarely in American drama have the gaps between what one wants to say, how one says it and what one really feels been as hilariously explored for dramatic effect as Norris is able to pull off here.
One neighbourhood, two eras; this sharp-witted and provocative play charges into the uncomfortable territory of race and real estate. Clybourne Park's acclaim is outstanding, with not only the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama singing its praises, but multitude of other awards too, including the 2011 Olivier Award for Best New Play and the 2012 Tony Award for Best Play. Playwright Bruce Norris skilfully weaves intrigue, humour and social reflection in this ferocious satire that holds a magnifying glass up to ingrained prejudices and how they are addressed.
Taking its inspiration from Lorraine Hansberry's America classic, Raisin in the Sun, the story begins in 1959 in the fictitious Chicago neighbourhood of Clybourne Park. White couple Russ and Bev are selling their house at a knock-off rate - unknowingly - to the Youngers, a black family. This outrages neighbours, who make politically correct complaints "the beginning of the end".
Fifty years on, Clybourne Park is all-black neighbourhood undergoing gentrification. The same house is being sold to Steve and Lindsey, a wealthy white couple ready to demolish and rebuild their designer dream home. But again change is met with resistance, which unleashes a flurry of questions about community identity and social progress.
Previews from: 28 January 2011
Opening night: 3 February 2011
Closing night: 7 May 2011
Clybourne Park is suitable for audiences aged 14 and upwards (contains very strong language).
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