Mary Barnes

by  David Edgar, Mary Barnes, Joseph Berke

Full Length Play, Drama  /  9m, 6f

NOTICE: Please be advised, this title is from the Samuel French Vault and is made from a scan of an archived manuscript. We hope you’ll treasure this glimpse into theatre history.

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    9m, 6f

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This harrowing new drama by the author of Nicholas Nickleby is based on the true story of an English mental patient, and is a scorching indictment of "traditional" methods of treating the mentally ill. Mary Barnes, diagnosed as a hopeless schizophrenic, has spent much of her life in mental hospitals, where she was kept in padded cells and drugged and shocked into numbness. She is finally placed in an alternative community for the mentally ill, run by psychiatrists who oopose drug and shock treatment. There, she is put back on the road to recovery. A recent success on the London stage, and in the U.S. at the famed Long Wharf Theatre.
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"It disturbs, revolts and moves an audience in a way that serves as a jolting reminder of the awesome power of theatre itself... pulls no punches, and while there is humor here, it is decidedly black, almost painful." - Darien News "Edgar is remarkable at drawing character." - Boston Globe "The dialogue has a sharp edge, plus shrewdly judged humor." - Variety


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  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance



9m, 6f
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)




David Edgar

David Edgar was born in Birmingham on 26 February 1948. He was educated at Oundle School and read Drama at Manchester University. After a short career in journalism, he took up writing full-time in 1972. His plays include The National Interest (1971), Excuses Excuses (1972), Dick ...

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Mary Barnes

Mary Barnes was an English artist and writer who suffered from schizophrenia but recovered to become a successful painter. She trained as a nurse and joined the army in World War II. She worked in Frankfurt for two years before returning to London as a full time nurse. In 1963, after reading R. D. Lai ...

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Joseph Berke

Joseph Berke

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