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Bettie's Books

A Stuga On the Cusp of the Orust Riviera, tucked away next to a hobbit hole in the woods.

The Skriker by Caryl Churchill

The Skriker - Caryl Churchill
bookshelves: spring-2016, play-dramatisation, radio-3, fairy-tales, published-1994, mental-health, boo-scary
Recommended to Bettie☯ by: Laura
Recommended for: BBC Radio Listeners
Read from March 18 to 21, 2016



Description: 'Long before that, long before England was an idea, a country of snow and wolves where trees sang and birds talked and people knew we mattered...'

In a broken world, two sisters Lily and Josie meet an extraordinary creature. The Skriker is a shapeshifter, an ancient fairy. She can be an old woman, a child, a man, a death portent. She has come from the Underworld to pursue seduce and entrap them, through time and space, through this world and her own.

Whilst speaking English in its human incarnations, the Skriker's own language consists of broken and fragmented word play. Blending naturalism, horror and magical realism, it is a story of love, loss and revenge.

This extraordinary play by one of Britain's leading playwrights combines English folk tales with modern urban life. In terms of its language alone, it is as exciting and challenging on the page as on the stage. The play follows the Skriker, 'a shapeshifter and death portent, ancient and damaged,' in its search for love and revenge as it pursues two young women to London, changing its shape at every new encounter. Along with the Skriker come Rawheadandbloodybones, the Kelpie, the Green Lady, Black Dog and more, till the whole country is swarming with enticing and angry creatures that have burst from the underworld.

Choir Master ..... Stuart Overington
The Hag ..... Jessica Walker
Choir ..... Alaka Prodhan, Charlie Green, Charlotte Beale, Elizabeth Barry, Joanne Griffiths, Justina Aina, Olivia Avouris and Rebekah Davies

If you like word-plays intertwined with nursery-rhymes, book titles that result in an adult fairytale, this is for you.

The Skriker by Caryl Churchill was produced by The Royal Exchange Theatre as part of the 2015 Manchester International Festival, directed by Sarah Frankcom. It was adapted for radio by Caryl Churchill, directed by Sarah Frankcom and produced by Sue Roberts.