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Early Morning
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Early Morning

by Edward Bond(1968)

Opening Night: August 1st 2005

Venue: Aberystwyth Arts Centre (studio)

Photographs J. Finnis

About the Play

"Early Morning" is a very important play. It was instrumental in the abolition of theatre censorship. The first performance was in 1968 before a "private club" audience at the Royal Court - the play had already been banned by the Lord Chamberlain's office. However, pressure was being applied to Parliament for freedom of speech on the stage, and in September of the same year censorship was abolished. From such a 'backdoor' opening, "Early Morning" went on to win numerous awards. It is a fascinatingly challenging play. It did cause much controversy when it was first produced, and I still believe it is a provocative piece. It is a dreamlike fantasy... but as Bond has stated, "the events in the play are true." At the heart of most of his work is the notion that corruption and greed lead to violence. Just about everything that happens in this play can be seen as a much wider metaphor for 'us and our time.' (Edward Bond in his introduction to Lear.)

Production Notes

We have tried to focus on the fantasy element of the play, and the chaos. There is a fusion of the historical and contemporary; people die and then come back to life; heaven turns out to be a living hell; corpses can talk - all these things happen in the play, yet the world explored is our own. "Early Morning" is a very "British" play. Therefore the soundtrack is a careful selection of some of the best of Britpop from 1968 to the very immediate present. And I mean good Britpop - not rubbish like the Spice Girls or Blue! Thanks to David Kendell, Richard Cheshire, Andrea Wiltshire, Nick Strong, Ruth Pownell, Dr. Sandra Wheatley, all Arts Centre Staff.

Cast and Company

Role or Job Name
Queen Victoria Lindsay Blumfield
George Lizzie Bowen
Griss Susan Chapman
Lord Chamberlain Matt Fullwood
Mennings / Gladstone Ian Gledhill
Florence Nightingale Rachel Greener
Disraeli Sara Hedges
Ned / Footman / Officer / Jury Foreman Keith Huckfield
Jones Catrin Fflûr Huws
Joyce Claire N. Jones
Albert Rhys Kelly
Doctor Shumita Pallit
Len Nigel Petts
Arthur Kate Spivey
Director David Blumfield
Sound Design David Blumfield
Set Design Duncan Gough
Stage Manager Leanne Knibb