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Far Away - Full Length Play, Drama

Far Away

Caryl Churchill

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Full Length Play, Drama

1m, 3f

ISBN: 9781559361996

Confronting our deepest fears, Caryl Churchill’s extraordinary play depicts a chilling world where everyone is at war, and not even the birds in the trees or the river below can be trusted. 

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author | Now Playing | Reviews
Acting Edition

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Minimum Fee: $100 per performance


Full Length Play


60 minutes (1 hour)


No intermission

Bare Stage/Simple Set




College Theatre / Student, Professional Theatre, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

This hour long futuristic nightmare envisions a world where the promise of violence broods and nothing is to be trusteed. Written by the celebrated author of Top Girls and Cloud Nine, this innovative work consists of three brief scenes. In the first, a young girl spending her first night in her new guardian's house witnesses a bloody slaughter. Next, the girl, now grown, is spending her first day working in a hat factory. There, she and a young man concoct funny and elaborate hats that are to be worn for a horrific purpose. In the final scene, the boy and girl, now wed, are seeking refuge from a global conflict even the animals are on one side or another.

Far Away must be performed on it's own, as a single evening of theatre.


"Ravishing, deeply disturbing .... Has the picturesque form and gentle rhythms of a fairy tale. There is an uncommon density and sureness of purpose.... Each carefully chosen detail seems to vibrate with unsettled depths. And each summons anxieties both primal and mercilessly particular to the times in which we live.... With each new play, Ms. Churchill seems to come up with new rhythms and language to match, in exhilarating theatrical terms, what are scarcely trivial subjects." - The New York Times, Read More 

"...brilliant...this play feels more resonant than ever." The Guardian, Read More

Far Away premiered at the Royal COurt Theatre in London in November of 2000 under the direction of Stephen Daldry.


1m, 3f

YOUNG JOAN - a girl
HARPER - her aunt
TODD - a young man
JOAN - the older version of the character in the first scene.
Caryl Churchill

Caryl Churchill

Caryl Churchill (born 1938) wrote her first play, Downstairs, while at Oxford University. It was staged in 1958 and won the award at the Sunday Times National Union of Students Drama Festival. Her plays have been performed on international stages, on the BBC radio, and adapted for BBC television. They include Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Cloud Nine, Fen, Three More Sleepless Nights, Top Girls ... view full profile

Now Playing
Katherine Monberg 5/22/2013 5:24 PM
Far Away, by Caryl Churchill, unveils a world of horrifically absurd fiction that still manages to convey a strange sort of sense.    Beginning in a world recognizable as our own until a young child witnesses an act of fatal brutality, Churchill takes us through the progressive horrors of a world in which public execution has become a spectacle of capitalist ambition, and all living creatures are locked in a war of endlessly shifting alliances.  Brutally poignant and fluidly jarring, Far Away introduces a conceptual interrogation that stretches the boundaries of reality and politics.  With a cast of three and some harsh content appropriate for adult audiences, it is a beautiful combination of sparse text and dense subtext that lends itself to college or professional organizations.
Monica Trausch 4/27/2013 12:43 PM
FAR AWAY by Caryl Churchill is the kind of play that doesn’t leave you, even years after you’ve heard its dark words uttered. A master that many attempt to emulate, Churchill is at her darkest in FAR AWAY. What makes this piece so very dark? Little seems to be happening, and, much like in the Greek tragedies, the darkness and violence occur off-stage. The horror comes from the casual way in which characters describe unspeakable violence. A hat for the slaughtered, a girl helping her family, the ants have joined the opposing side in a global war. Have we gotten there yet? How much farther do we really have to before our world descends into the one described in this play? When do unspeakable violences become normalized? Have we gotten there yet? In this simple, easily produced, shorter piece, Churchill guides her audience into asking these questions, forcing no agenda upon us, merely daring us to think as she must have to write this masterful play. Her prowess as a playwright is evident in the rhythm of FAR AWAY, and this is a play no audience member or reader should soon forget.
Jon Henry 4/23/2013 9:23 PM
It’s hard to believe that Caryl Churchill’s Far Away was written before the phrase “War on Terror” had become a standard part of our lexicon. The idea of fear and paranoia that it portrays has become more and more accurate of America since it was first produced in 2000.  The play describes a world where each and every element is at war. Every animal, every inanimate object has joined the fight. It dwells on that level of paranoia and fear, showing the sort of atrocities that come about when we live in a world characterized by fearfulness. While the show is not written to be much along the lines of spectacle (Besides a stunning array of animal shaped hats) it creates the sort of elegant stage-images that can stay with the viewer for years to come. One of the real values of this text is its flexibility. It can be done on a very large scale or a very small scale. It’s a piece that’s perfect for a small theater attempting to bring in more experimental pieces, but it’s still worth doing in a larger setting. The only major production cost is four strong actors and a surplus of extras.

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