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CentreHouse Press

Reviewers at CentreHouse Press

Read guest reviewers of books published by CHP and other presses

Debussy Was My Grandfather, by Garry O’Connor

Dramatic Writing Posted on Tue, December 13, 2016 12:34:58

Under the one title are brought together two plays
by the critically acclaimed Garry O’Connor, Debussy Was My
Grandfather
and The Madness of Vivien Leigh.

A theme common to both is the emotional
and psychological turmoil underneath the veil of public careers, with
an uncompromising look at the undercurrents: the dysfunction of
domestic/family life, in all its anguish and floridity. There’s a
nicely judged balance between art in its moments of transcendence,
and the reality underpinning it, with a flawed humanity put to the
service of art. It’s a theme O’Connor has explored in a
substantial body of work as novelist, biographer and playwright…

Praise for The Madness of Vivien Leigh:

‘The mythology of one of the
century’s most celebrated marriages…a brilliantly perceptive
portrait.’ The Observer

‘With real insight O’Connor
gets plausibly close to what made Olivier and wife tick as artists…a
penetrating, utterly objective mind at work. Irish Times

‘Compulsive…the pair who
were Charles and Di, Torville and Dean, Tragedy and Comedy, Scylla
and Charybdis all rolled into one.’ Vogue

Debussy Was My Grandfather is published by
CentreHouse Press and is available in print format. Retails at all
the usual places, including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Word Power Books,
Barnes and Noble.



Naked Woman, by Garry O’Connor

Dramatic Writing Posted on Tue, December 13, 2016 11:28:43

Under the one title Naked Woman are brought
together two plays by the critically acclaimed Garry O’Connor. The
first, Semmelweis, is a victim play in the Tennessee Williams
tradition, and the second, De Raptu Meo, is a theatrical
re-creation of English poet Geoffrey Chaucer and his times.

Semmelweis is from the start in a trap
set by his own character and his overriding passion for truth. But
his is a story of crushing disappointment, having parallels today,
especially in medicine. To see flaws in the system, and to speak out
against cover-ups and vested interest, invites pariah status and a
ruthless sweeping aside in the relentless drive for conformity and
profit.

De Raptu Meo, as Libby Purves pointed out in
her review, exposes the relativity of truth we find in contemporary
culture, which she has contrasted with events surrounding English
poet Geoffrey Chaucer, who faced, in Richard II’s reign, the
accusation of rape. Present society is awash with stories of sexual
abuse as no other age has been. Here is a take on that subject, with
the audience asked to participate in Chaucer’s trial as if the
jury, and at the end give a verdict as to whether or not he was
guilty of the crime.

Semmelweis was first performed at the
Edinburgh Festival, and De Raptu Meo had its first reading in
Inner Temple, with Derek Jacobi in the part of Geoffrey Chaucer, and
its first full performance in the same venue with Ian Hogg in the
lead role.

Naked Woman is published by CentreHouse
Press and is available in print format. Retails at all the usual
places, including Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Word Power Books, Barnes and
Noble
.