Arts, Venue

Wertenbaker season: The Break of Day, and The Love of the Nightingale

This year’s UEA Drama season, running from 3 – 8 December, features two plays by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Wertenbaker is one of the UK’s most renowned contemporary female playwrights and currently the Chair in Playwrighting at the University Of East Anglia.  The two plays revolve around themes of feminism, displacement and reclaiming the future, extremely relevant topics in today’s society. The productions showcase the talents of the UEA third-year drama students.

Photo: Millie Amies

The Break of Day is set in the ’90s as a contemporary homage to Chekhov’s Three Sisters. The show promises the story of three female friends – a high-powered journalist, a university professor and a fading singer-songwriter meet at a 40th birthday party. They grapple with their sense of identity in the face of work, feminism, and the importance of motherhood. They ask themselves: Have they left it too late to have children? Was it a mistake to devote their lives to work? And how far will they go to reclaim the empowerment of their youth?  Catch the play on the 3rd and 6th of December at 7:30, and the 4th and 7th of December at 2:00.

The Love of the Nightingale combines elements from ancient Greek myth with contemporary issues and an updated setting that is especially relevant in the #MeToo age. It tells a story of displacement across borders, the silencing of victims and the power of female revenge, through the tragic tale of the rape of Philomela by her brother-in-law and her sister’s gruesome retribution. The play is re-imagined with an intriguing twist of Balinese design and influence. The Love of the Nightingale is running on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of December at 7:30, and the 8th of December at 2:00.

Photo: Millie Amies

James Robert Carson, Director, says: “The plays don’t shy away from the big questions that confront anyone us in our precarious and volatile times. They are perfect material for those who are seeking to understand the world through an engagement with the theatre and its literature.”


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Leia Butler

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January 2022
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