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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
Somewhere Else contains George F. Walker’s own selection of his early plays which matter; which for him have stood the test of time; which represent, as he once said, his “classical veneer.” In them he honed his considerable and unique dramatic talent along “that fine line between the serious and the comic,” in settings outside the North American locales of his work since the 1980s.
Walker’s earliest plays, absurdist dramas reminiscent of Ionesco and Beckett, climaxed with Beyond Mozambique (1974), featuring a B-movie jungle locale populated by a drug-addicted, pederastic priest, a disgraced Mountie, a porn-film starlet and a demonic ex-Nazi doctor whose wife thinks she is Olga in Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Zastrozzi (1977), utilizing all the baroque conventions of Jacobean tragedy, pits its protagonist, a self-styled, Machiavellian “Master of Discipline” against the chaos of the universe in a flurry of dramatic excesses that tend toward elegant self-parody. The Chalmers Award-winning Theatre of the Film Noir (1981), a murder mystery set in wartime Paris, is the culmination of his work in the Humphrey Bogart / Raymond Chandler style, so evident in his trilogy featuring the cynical investigative reporter / private-eye, Tyrone Power. The Governor General’s and Chalmers Award-winning Nothing Sacred (1988), an adaptation of Turgenev’s novel, Fathers and Sons, consolidated his popular reputation outside of Canada to such a degree that the Los Angeles Times declared it “the play of the year.”
ISBN 13: 9780889224025 | ISBN 10: 889224021
6 W x 9 H x 1 D inches | 256 pages
$24.95 CAN / $24.95 US
Backlist | Drama | Bisac: DRA013000
About the ContributorsGeorge F. Walker
George F. Walker has been one of Canada’s most prolific and popular playwrights since his career in theatre began in the early 1970s. His first play, The Prince of Naples, premiered in 1972 at the newly opened Factory Theatre, a company that
continues to produce his work. Since that time, he has written more than twenty plays and has created screenplays for several award-winning Canadian television series. Part Kafka, part Lewis Carroll, Walker’s distinctive, gritty, fast-paced comedies satirize the selfishness, greed, and aggression of contemporary urban culture. Among his best-known plays are Gossip (1977); Zastrozzi, the Master of Discipline (1977); Criminals in Love (1984); Better Living (1986); Nothing Sacred (1988); Love and Anger (1989); Escape from Happiness (1991); Suburban Motel (1997, a series of six plays set in the same motel room); and Heaven (2000). Since the early 1980s, he has directed most of the premieres of his own plays.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program; and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.