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September 03 , 2009

Fred & Madge (NHB Modern Plays)


Joe Orton’s brilliantly inventive and staggeringly bold first play.

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Fred and Madge are a normal couple. Or so we think until a director and an audience member start interrupting and reworking this play within a play.

Exhilaratingly subversive, the play includes the destruction of the Festival Hall, professional insulters intent on purging society with laughter and a dystopian England overgrown with marigolds. Full of biting satire and sardonic wit, it mingles astutely observed social realism with myth: Fred’s job is to push boulders up a hill, and Madge’s is to sieve water.

Written in 1959, Fred & Madge finally received its premiere in 2014 at the Hope Theatre, London.

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