Cloud 9

Cloud 9

by Caryl Churchill

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.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Plays
  • Rating: 3.66
  • Pages: 88
  • Publish Date: April 1st 1995 by Theatre Communications Group
  • Isbn10: 1559360992
  • Isbn13: 9781559360999

What People Think about "Cloud 9"

Cloud 9 is broken into two acts. The second act is set in the late 1970s, and many of the same characters appear, though they have only aged 25 years. In this act, the characters satisfy some of their sexual longings, and we see a vastly different family dynamic. The characters (as they are written) show little depth, and the moments in the second act when they are meant to confront their weaknesses are overwrought. In Cloud 9, fulfillment for every character comes from sex or subservience. Lasting impressions: Cloud 9 works as an exploration into sexual politics and fulfillment.

However, when you're watching it, it's played by a grown woman...so...some of it is mitigated, I guess.

I didn't appreciate the "random" element of this play.

In first act, Betty, who is Clives wife, is played by a man to symbolize her trying to be everything men want her to be and not appreciate herself as a woman. In Act Two, the only character played by someone not of their gender is a child, Cathy, who is played by a man.

Then there's the dialogue where every character seems to say exactly what they are thinking, with no subtext involved at all. I found it a lot more digestible than Top Girls especially with the play's dialogue. At times characters do seem to talk at each other rather than with each other, but this is kept to a minimum, and there's thankfully no instances of the brain-hurting overlapping dialogue.

Overall, my second favourite play that I have read after the Crucible.

I'll be very interested to discuss this in class!

The entire structure relies on Brechtian distancing effects, which is what makes it so strong.

Her early work developed Bertolt Brecht's modernist dramatic and theatrical techniques of 'Epic theatre' to explore issues of gender and sexuality.