Afore Night Come




Penguin, 1963:New English Dramatists series,vol.7; no longer in print.

Oberon Books, 2001:ISBN 1 84002 239 6.

In German translation as Vor der Nacht: Radikalisches Theater, Kiepenheuer und Witsch, Cologne, 1968.

In Italian as Primo che venga la notte: in the theatre journal Sipario, (?)1968.

Twelve years later, in a new production (by Ron Daniels), Afore Night Come was the first non-Shakespeare play to be staged by the RSC at their Stratford second house The Other Place when it was opened as a performance space in 1974 (it had been a wardrobe and a voice workshop before). Because of the actors' close physical presence and human reality, a performance there was a challenging experience for performers and audience alike. Within a few years, The Other Place had acquired a huge and loyal following. It was an uncomfortable venue for all involved, but that 'empty space' had demon. It was demolished in the 1990s to make way for a 'modern' Other Place with much better facilities - but the demon had gone. This in turn has now (2008) been demolished as the RSC implement controversial new plans for itself.

Among other productions in the UK: Bristol Old Vic, 1976. Theatre Clwyd, 1998. RNT Studio at Young Vic, 2001.

Productions in Europe have been mainly in Germany, Holland, Scandinavia. Its German première, in Wuppertal, 1969, was interrupted by disturbances in the auditorium that 'froze' the performance for some half-hour; the older generation in the audience were shouting protests, 'We don't want this filth in our theatre!' and the younger generation were countering with 'No, you want it in the camps!' Half the audience noisily left, and many abonnement-holders withdrew their subscriptions. For a later production in Germany, the director padlocked the audience in cages - presumably here too there's an Auschwitz connection; but at least it will have prevented the audience leaving. On the play's first staging in the US (Long Wharf Theatre, Newhaven 1975), the theatre bulletin described Ron Daniels' production there as the most controversial in their history.

Requires a cast of 13 - 11 m. 2 f. No doubling possible.