by  Caryl Churchill

Full Length Play, Drama  /  1m, 6f, 1girl(s)

Winner! 1983-1984 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

"Ms. Churchill has put together with grace and anger and a generous humor an evening almost entirely composed of wants." - Sunday New York Times

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    1m, 6f, 1girl(s)
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

This remarkable playwright shows still another aspect of her talent in Fen, which takes place in England's swamp or "fen" country and focuses on a gang of women landworkers. The play looks at their work situation and their private lives and dreams. In particular, we follow the story of Val, who leaves her husband and children to live with a farm worker, Frank. Other characters include Angela, the outsider who torments her stepdaughter Becky; Alice, who has turned to religion; Nell, who tries to assert her rights against the farmer; Shirley, who prides herself on keeping going. A community with strong links with the past but living in a present where the land is owned by multinationals.
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  • Winner! 1983-1984 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize



"Ms. Churchill has put together with grace and anger and a generous humor an evening almost entirely composed of wants." - Sunday New York Times

"A wonderful and strange play; passionate, tense, and eloquent." - Village Voice

"Ms. Churchill...possesses one of the boldest theatrical imaginations to emerge in this decade who is amazingly enough plowing new ground in the theater with every new play." - The New York Times


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Setting: The fens in east Englad, less than a hundred miles north of London.


1m, 6f, 1girl(s)
WILSON - a landworker
SHIRLEY - a landworker
NELL - a landworker
VAL - a landworker
ANGELA - a landworker
MRS. HASSETT - a ganger
FRANK - a farm laborer
DEB - Val's daughter, age 9
SHONA - Val's daughter, age 6
BECKY - Angela's stepdaughter, age 15
MAY - Val's mother
MISS CADE - a businesswoman
MR. TEWSON - a farmer
ALICE - a landworker
GEOFFREY - Shirley's husband
MAVIS - a Baptist
MARGARET - a Baptist
MRS. FINCH - a Baptist
IVY - May's mother
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting


Available Services



Caryl Churchill

Caryl Churchill was born on 3 September 1938 in London and grew up in the Lake District and in Montreal. She was educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Downstairs, her first play written while she was still at university, was first staged in 1958 and won an award at the Sunday Times National Union of Students Drama Fe ...

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Fen premiered at the University of Essex by the joint Stock Theatre Group in January 1983 under the direction of Les Waters.

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