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“Mere Oblivion”

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Chapman, Nathan (English playwright, actor, director, drama lecturer, 1978-____), “Mere Oblivion,” a 35-minute absurd drama in English, set in an unknown environment, 2003,

1m1f or 2m (1m or 1f is a voice)

; • © 2003 by Nathan Chapman; • in Nathan Chapman’s Mere Oblivion (Croydon, Surrey, England: New Theatre Publications, 2003), ISBN 1840943475; • script/rights available from New Theatre Publications, 2 Hereford Close, Woolston, Warrington, Cheshire WA1 4HR, England, telephone/fax 08700 2 PLAYS (08700 275297) or 0845 129 4916 (local rate), e-mail plays4theatre@ntlworld.com; • rights available from Play Submissions and Licence Enquiries, New Theatre Publications, 132 Holmbury Grove, Featherbed Lane, Croydon, Surrey CR0 9AQ, England, telephone/fax 0845 129 4917 (local rate), e-mail paul.beard13@btopenworld.com; contact Nathan Chapman, 15 Ingledene Close, Havant, Hampshire PO9 1DG, U.S.A., e-mail nathan.chapman@tiscali.co.uk, telephone (home) 02392472500. • Cited by Nathan Chapman, via ftp December 3, 2003; Chapman says,

§ Dramatis Personae Jacques (m), indeterminate age, actor; Voice (m or f), any age, any number of voices (never seen).

§ Synopsis “In an unknown environment, devoid of character or context, Jacques becomes conscious in every sense of the word. The voice, seemingly resonating from everywhere at once, guides Jacques out of the ignorance of ‘mere oblivion’ and towards the truth about his own reality. Using the character of Jacques from Shakespeare’s As You Like It and his famous ‘All the world’s a stage’ speech, Mere Oblivion is an exploration of the nature of theatrical characters. Are these characters aware of their own fiction and theatrical nature, and if not, what would their reaction be to this revelation?

§ Comment “Jacques should initially appear to be Jacques from Shakespeare's As You Like It. • A potentially very simple play to stage, requiring only one actor, and as little or as much set as one might wish. Lighting and sound play a strong part in achieving the effects of Oblivion and general ‘otherness’, and it is possible to have the Voice either live or prerecorded. • ‘Mere Oblivion’ received great acclaim both from the public and the local press on its first (and so far only) performance in Portsmouth, UK, in 2000.” • Nathan Chapman has a B.A. Honors in Drama, Theatre and Television. He has been involved in amateur and professional theatre for eight years. Actor and director as well as author, he currently is launching a small-scale touring company, Cultural Architects. • Research could include Chapman’s “Life of Reilly.”

§ Themes As You Like It, Beckett (Samuel Beckett, Irish playwright and novelist in France, 1906-1989), death, identity, Shakespeare (William Shakespeare, English playwright, poet, 1564-1616), Stoppard (Thomas Stoppard aka Thomas Straussler, Czechoslovakian-born British dramatist, screenwriter, 1937-____), theatricality.

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Page mounted December 6, 2003, by the Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


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1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays

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