Moira Buffini’s latest play Manor, which opens at the
Lyttleton Theatre in April, is set up to be a story for the present moment. This
provocative dark comedy takes place during a great, destructive storm, in a
run-down manor house, in which neighbours and strangers take shelter from the rising
waters. As the storm brews outside, tensions in the manor threaten to bubble violently
to the surface, as the stranded survivors struggle to co-exist during these
The show stars award-winning actors Nancy Carroll and Ben
Daniels. Carroll plays the role of Diana Stuckley, the owner of the manor who must
keep the survivors together. Daniels plays Ted Farrier, one of the unexpected arrivals
seeking shelter from the storm, a charismatic stranger who turns out to be the
leader an extreme right-wing organisation.
The relationship between these two main characters provides
great potential for conflict. But Buffini’s work is as much a dramatisation of political issues as it is a dissection of personal relationships.
With a penchant for satire, Moira Buffini has never been afraid
to take on relevant social and political themes in her writing. In 2011 she co-wrote Greenland,
a personal exploration of the social dilemmas of climate change. In 2013 she
imagined the dynamics between women in power in her comedy Handbagged,
as she brought to life the private meetings between Margaret Thatcher and the Queen.
In 2015 she took a bold risk with wonder.land, a surreal, psychedelic
musical for the digital age, which dramatised social isolation and escape into
the virtual world of online games. And now, with Manor, she tackles divisions
in society and the rise of far-right.
Fiona Buffini, former Associate Director at the Nottingham
Playhouse, will direct her sister’s play. Manor marks the first collaboration
between the sisters since Moira’s 2002 breakthrough hit Dinner, a dark
comedy about a tense, claustrophobic dinner party descending into carnage.
|What||Manor, National Theatre|
|Where||National Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
07 Apr 20 – 06 Jun 20, Times Vary
|Price||£15 - £89|
|Website||Click here for more information|