Author(s): Caryl Churchill
A revised student edition of a classic modern play, Top Girls is seen as a benchmark for ushering in a new generation of playwrights after it was premiered by the Royal Court in 1982. Marlene hosts a dinner party in a London restaurant to celebrate her promotion to managing director of 'Top Girls' employment agency. Her guests are five women from the past: Isabella Bird (1831- 1904), the adventurous traveller; Lady Nijo (b1258), the mediaeval Japanese courtesan who became a Buddhist nun and travelled on foot through Japan; Dull Gret, who as Dulle Griet in a Bruegel painting, led a crowd of women on a charge through hell; Pope Joan, the transvestite early female pope and last but not least Patient Griselda, and obedient wife out of Chaucer. As the evening continues we are involved with the stories of all five women and the more pressing dilemmas of Marlene herself. 'Top Girls has a combination of directness and complexity which keeps you both emotionally and intellectually alert. You can smell life, and at the same time feel locked in an argument with an agile and passionate mind.' John Peter, Sunday Times
This volume contains a chronology of the playwright's life and work; an introduction giving the background to the play; a discussion of the various interpretations, notes on individual words and phrases and photographs from stage productions.Top Girls is a set text on the AQA English Literature list for 2008/9 and 2009/10.It is also a set text on the EDEXCEL English Literature list for 2007/8 and 2008/9Annual sales of the MSE edition in 2006 were 6864 copies; and in 2007, 7777 copies
Caryl Churchill has written for the stage, television and radio. Her acclaimed body of work includes Three More Sleepless Nights (1980); Top Girls (1982); Fen (1983); Mouthful of Birds (1986); Serious Money (1989); The Skriker (1984); Blue/Heart (1998) and Far Away in Autumn (2000).