At 81, Caryl Churchill is still going strong: last year, the Royal Court premiered a quartet of her latest short plays, Glass.Kill. BERNARD B2 has just been to the hospital. Some of Caryl Churchill's plays, much as I find them intellectually engaging, don't appeal to my inner director, but some of her recent short plays, such as Far Away and A Number, are so spare and enigmatic that reading and (inevitably) rereading them provokes the imaginative concentration required when directing, and does so more than most other scripts I know. A tight two-hander taking place in a not-too-far off future, Churchill's play is a philosophical investigation into free will and the question of nature versus nurture. Churchill gives no stage directions and no indication of a setting for the play. One day he learns the shocking truth: he is just one of a number of clones. This week on 'Bee' Reviewed is one of the more unique plays that I've come across, A Number by Caryl Churchill published in 2002. Upgrade to A + Download this LitChart! He has learned the truth about the situation, and now hates Salter for what he has done. Some time later, Bernard 1 returns and tells Salter that he followed and killed Bernard 2 after he left the country. Caryl Churchill's A Number is a play that explores the issue of human cloning through the relationships between a father and his three sons. There are two problems with this in applying it to a human (or any other conscious being): the concept of the minimal self tells us that there is, in fact, a unique self to every conscious being. Salter demands to know more about him, particularly about something personal and unique, but Michael cannot answer, and Salter is unsatisfied with what Michael can give him. The story, set in the near future, is structured around the conflict between a father (Salter) and his sons (Bernard 1, Bernard 2, and Michael Black) – two of whom are clones of the first one. Bernard 1 then leaves and kills himself, leaving Salter alone. Is the copy worth less? Bernard 2: yes but it’s not me over there.”. [19] Starring Rhys Ifans and Tom Wilkinson, it was broadcast on BBC Two on 10 Sep 2008.[20]. Her innovations in this regard are sometimes so startling and compelling that reviewers tend to focus on the novelty of her works to the exclusion of her ideas. Zinnie Harris will direct the play at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh in April 2017.[7]. What is the source of our individuality? [14] Richard Pahl of Northwest Herald billed A Number as an "engaging meditation on human cloning, personal identity and the conflicting claims of nature and nurture". Continue Reading. [6] It transferred to the Young Vic Theatre in June 2015. [...] It’s almost exactly an hour long and the ending is abrupt, but Churchill packs more ideas and feeling into that time than most dramatists manage at twice the length. Bernard thought he was an only child. Struggling with distance learning? The worry seems to be twofold: Is a copy less ‘real’ than an original? Required fields are marked *, - The play, which explores the consequences of human cloning, will be preceded by a debate organised by Mike Young Academy. “Bernard 2: someone like you couldn’t have tried harder… If you’d tried harder you’d have been different from what you were like and you weren’t.”. Instead, Churchill takes human cloning as a framework for philosophical considerations. Caryl Churchill's Pigs and Dogs premiered at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in 2016, in a production directed by Dominic Cooke. Caryl Churchill wrote A Number in 2002, when debates around human cloning were at fever pitch. The above research takes into account A Number by Caryl Churchill. This beguiling thriller delves into the ethical issue of human cloning while exploring second chances. A Number is no cold thought experiment, but a quiet rumination on human nature". Caryl Churchill is not a playwright who repeats herself. the same question? This leads me to my last inquiry. Caryl Churchill’s play ‘A Number’ is about the ethics of human cloning – at least on the surface. Salter, stricken with grief, demands to know the details, but Bernard 1 refuses to say anything. This direct . How identical are identical clones (or twins, for that matter) really? "What Is Warm and Fuzzy Forever? Why was he created? Economists have come up with one answer: the ‘value of statistical life’ estimates first how much people are willing to pay to reduce their individual risk of dying by 1 in 100,000. A Number (Play) Plot & Characters | StageAgent A Number – review. Pahl wrote that the work "offers intellectual and emotional depth, and illustrates the ways people rationalize bad behavior and unthinkingly objectify others, including their own flesh and blood. Caryl Churchill’s magnificent play only lasts an hour but contains more drama, and more ideas, than most writers manage in a dozen full-length works. Salter: A number any number is a shock.”, Twins are natural clones: they are two organisms that evolved from one fertilised egg and carry the identical genetic makeup as each other. The play was revived at the Sheffield Crucible studio in October 2006 starring real-life father and son Timothy West and Samuel West. It seemed claustrophobic. He has learned about the clones, and is furious at his father for doing it. Salter then admits that the clones were meant to give him another chance at raising Bernard, without any of his many parental mistakes. 3 days ago, - 5. A Number is a 2002 play by the English playwright Caryl Churchill which addresses the subject of human cloning and identity, especially nature versus nurture. A Number is at the Library Theatre in Manchester between Thursday 23 April - Saturday 9 May. If we turn to the art world we see: even the most precise, magnificent forgery of an artwork remains a ‘fake’ and is worth nothing compared to the master’s original, which does not lose either its value or its identity. "[15], Dinneen argued that the play is about "our desire to be unique, for our lives to have meaning, for our imperfect minds and bodies to somehow achieve perfect ends. Page 5/10. Special Events . Salter explains that he agreed to a cloning experiment to try again at parenting another version of his son, but, unbeknownst to Salter, the doctors had unethically made several more clones. I have noticed you don’t monetize your blog, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional bucks every month. Hi Account Login Basket: 0 | £ 0.00. A Number by Caryl Churchill. All the illustrations for this article are by her. It seems something that could lead to a very interesting discussion. The cloning of Dolly the sheep, the creation of human embryos at Advanced Cell Technology, and the cloning of a kitten[2] gave rise to controversy concerning possible human cloning. A Number is a full-length drama by Caryl Churchill. "[16][9] Arjun Neil Alim of The Independent stated that "Churchill, a political playwright par excellence, tactfully references current events. (1987) Her play, "Serious Money", was performed at the Wyndham's Theatre in London, England with Tom Chadbon, Patti Love, Cyril Nri, Gary Olsen in the cast. (PDF) Teachers and parents! aryl Churchill was the most important female playwright of the 20th century. SALTER claims that scientists have illegally made copies of B2. I didn’t like being a barrister’s wife and going out to dinner with other professional people and dealing with middle-class life. A Number. Downstairs, her first play, was written while she was still at university, and was first staged in 1958, winning an award at the Sunday Times National Union of Students Drama Festival. And does the original lose anything, its identity or value, by being copied? But are twins actually identical? Is he an original or a copy? A Number is a 2002 play by English playwright Caryl Churchill which addresses the subject of human cloning and identity, especially nature versus nurture. – the relationships between Salter and his offspring, and their differing reactions to finding that they are not unique, are right on the money. [1] The fact that I experience from my very own point-of-view that is different to everyone else’s is enough to account for the fact that I am me; whether I have a twin with the same genetic material as me or not. "[18] Pahl wrote that questions asked by the play are, "If we had a do-over, could we atone for our mistakes? Bernard 2 decides to leave the country for a while, both to get away from Salter and because he fears that Bernard 1 might try to kill him. The Top Girls, Far Away and Vinegar Tom author, Caryl Churchill turns 80 this year, top directors and playwrights take an in-depth look at how her work has changed the theatre landscapen Dineen wrote that Salter's interludes "say as much as an hour’s worth of dialogue". But, granted we can put a figure on it, is the value of a person really impacted by the existence of a copy? Planning a conference or event? How do we measure how much a person is worth? His double is a cooler version of himself. Together, he and his father confront epic questions of identity, intimacy and belonging. Distributed over 100,000 study participants, this risk reduction would lead to one saved life, statistically speaking. A Number by Caryl Churchill - a philosophical analysis Caryl Churchill's A Number is a play that explores the issue of human cloning through the relationships between a father and his three sons. /. A Number. A Number is an original work published in 2002 in association with the Royal Court Theatre of London. Lillian Wilde is a graduate in the field of phenomenology. Introduction. However, Brandon praised the final scene as "brilliant" and said that one of its characters "serves as a welcome reminder that it is possible to have an ostensibly normal life", ultimately describing A Number as "one of the more intellectually vital scripts to emerge in the new century" despite shortcomings. Jump to Section: Details; Media; Materials; Authors; Community; Cast Size. [9], In a 2006 review of a later Churchill work, The Independent's Paul Taylor described the play as one of the best dramas of the new millennium, and as "superbly compressed and economic". The fact that I experience from my very own point-of-view that is different to everyone else’s is enough to account for the fact that I am me; whether I have a twin with the same genetic material as me or not. “Bernard 2: what if someone else is the one, the first one, the real one…”. [11] Matt Wolf lauded A Number as a "beautiful play", and wrote that it "works not least as a thriller or bit of forensic detection, as Churchill plants clues prompting a reevaluation of the narrative at every turn. A great deal of issues and aspects can be learnt from the above play with diverse moral lessons, as well. Caryl Churchill was born in London on September 3rd, 1938. "[15], A Number was adapted by Caryl Churchill for television, in a co-production between the BBC and HBO Films. PhD candidate at the University of Kent and specialised twin researcher James W. Hoctor, disagrees with the widespread notion that twins form a singular entity or that they possess a ‘we-self’. 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