Ludlow Fair & Home Free!


Lanford Wilson

Published by Dramatists Play Service

1 Male 3 Female

Home Free! ~ Lawrence and Joanna, a brother and sister in their mid-twenties, have cut themselves off from the world "outside," living in a cluttered playroom which they share with two imaginary companions, "Edna" and "Claypone"

Surrounded by toys, including a brightly colored miniature Ferris wheel, they have created an atmosphere of almost suffocating intimacy and remove, where play becomes the business of life and reality an alien force to be kept at bay

But life intrudes all the same, and their fantasies have betrayed them into Joanna's pregnancy. Yet even this cruel irony can only be dealt with in almost antic, unreal terms, as though it too were but a facet of the dream world which Lawrence and Joanna have constructed about themselves

They continue to play and talk idly of future plans - until the birth pangs begin and their house of illusion comes crashing down. But still Lawrence cannot leave, cannot face the world beyond their door. Instead he sends "Edna" for the doctor, and as Joanna's life ebbs away he holds her hand and talks of the new toy which he has made for her and hidden away in their Surprise Box of secret treasures

Warmly received in its Off-Broadway presentation, this brilliant, engrossing play has been widely produced by university and little theatre groups both here and abroad

Concerned with an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister, it is written in a haunting, evocative style which both illuminates and softens the elemental pathos of its subject

"A poignant fairy-tale quality pervades this story of a brother and his incestuously pregnant sister and helps the play achieve an astonishingly tender tension between sickness and sweetness" ~ Time

Ludlow Fair ~ " is a bedtime story about two girl roommates. Rachel is glamorous, fast-living, sometimes lost in her own self-dramatizations; Agnes is plain, matter-of-fact, her shyness masked by a kooky personality

The play is ostensibly about Rachael: She turned her latest boyfriend in to the police when he stole from her, and now she is remorseful - now she decides she is in love with him

Agnes tries to cheer her up with wisecracks, then tries to rekindle her self-awareness, and finally Rachael goes to sleep. Agnes is left alone, thinking about her lunch date with the boss' disappointing son tomorrow

And suddenly it is her play, the realist is the true romantic. Agnes' unprepossessing but real emotions outweigh Rachel's trumped-up, self-indulgent flourishes, and suddenly the play is simple and moving" ~ Village Voice

Successfully produced Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and in London. An engrossing, funny play which offers a revealing glimpse into the hopes, dreams and problems of two young girl roommates

" charmingly well written, with a warm, delicate, and exact perception of human feelings and predicaments" ~ Village Voice

"Lanford Wilson is a brilliant playwright" ~ Newsweek

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