Cloud 9 by Caryl ChurchillIn colonial Africa, a Victorian English patrician represses the natives, his wife, his children, homosexuals—and still finds time for an affair with a widowed neighbor. The same family appears in Act Two 25 years older and back in London, only now it’s 1979.Cloud 9 is about relationships - between women and men, men and men, women and women. It is about sex, work, mothers, Africa, power, children, grandmothers, politics, money, Queen Victoria and Sex. Cloud 9 premiered in London at the Royal Court Theatre in 1979 and has since been staged all over the world.
CLOUD NINE by Caryl Churchill 2009 @ The Union Theatre London TRAILER
Cloud Nine (NHB Modern Plays)
In addition to frequently being very amusing, the play highlights colonial and gender oppression. The first act is set in the nineteenth century in an African country ruled by Britain, and Churchill satirizes the repressive nature of the Victorian family, the rigidity of narrowly prescribed gender roles, and the phenomenon whereby oppressed peoples in colonized countries take on the identity of the colonizers. Act two takes place in London one hundred years later with mostly the same characters, who have aged only twenty-five years. Caryl Churchill was born on September 3, , in London, England. She spent most of her early childhood in and near London before her family moved in to Montreal, Canada, where Churchill attended the Trafalgar School until Churchill began to write as a young girl, and she also developed an early interest in the theater.
Clive, his wife Betty, son Edward, daughter Victoria, mother-in- law Maud, governess Ellen and servant Joshua welcome the audience to his African home with a song paying tribute to England. Out of the song, the action of the play begins quickly. Clive returns home after spending the day managing the troubles among local tribes. Betty greets him and they swap stories about their days' experiences. When Clive learns that Joshua has been rude to Betty, he scolds Joshua. After this scolding, Clive greets the rest of his family, asking his children about their daily activities.
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She does this by setting Act I in British colonial Africa and the other in a London park during Act I is written with a comic view of the strict Victorian setting and utilizes gender and racial role reversals. These role reversals allow Churchill to create a special mirror, allowing her audience to study social constructs of femininity, race, masculinity, etc. In Act II, several characters reappear, and although twenty-five years have passed for them, the setting is one hundred years later in She creates this contrast by successfully comparing two vastly different societal structures.