CentreHouse Press

CentreHouse Press

Reviewers at CentreHouse Press

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Debussy Was My Grandfather, by Garry O'Connor

Dramatic WritingPosted by Jack d'Argus 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 WritingPosted by Jack d'Argus 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.