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Fefu and Her Friends


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A: Maria Irene Fornés Pf: 1977, New York Pb: 1980 G: Drama in 3 acts S: Living room, lawn, study, bedroom, kitchen, country house in New England, 1935 C: 8fFefu has an eccentric marriage with Philip (‘They drive each other crazy’). She shoots at him frequently, although she always hopes that the gun is loaded only with blanks. Her friends, Cindy and Christina, are mildly alarmed by her behaviour. Fefu wishes she were a man, for ‘Women are restless with each other’. Julia arrives. She has been confined to a wheelchair since she collapsed a year ago beside a deer that was shot, although she herself was not injured. It seems that she had formerly been tortured, and the gunshot by recalling her trauma induced her paralysis. Emma, Paula, Sue, and Cecilia arrive to prepare for some kind of performance. Act 2 consists of four scenes, each watched by a quarter of the audience, who then move on to the next scene, repeated by the performers. On the lawn: Fefu and Emma enjoy each other's company in the garden; In the study: Cindy tells Christina her dream; In the bedroom: Julia, alone, recalls being interrogated – Sue brings her some soup; In the kitchen: Sue prepares Julia's soup, while Paula speaks of the transitory nature of love affairs. They are joined by Cecilia, and Fefu invites everyone for croquet. In Act 3, the women rehearse their fund-raising presentation, Emma making a powerful appeal for the Environment. Julia gets out of her wheelchair to fetch sugar, and Fefu challenges her to ‘fight’ her illness. Fefu shoots a rabbit, and Julia drops to the ground bleeding.

A: Maria Irene Fornés Pf: 1977, New York Pb: 1980 G: Drama in 3 acts S: Living room, lawn, study, bedroom, kitchen, country house in New England, 1935 C: 8f

Containing some of the anarchic quality of Promenade, as in the Act 3 water fight, Fornés's most frequently performed play Fefu and Her Friends represented a new departure for her by creating realistic, often inconsequential dialogue in a domestic setting. Julia's experiences adumbrate the later political concerns of Fornés, seen for example in The Conduct of Life. The simultaneous playing of four scenes in different locations looks forward to Ayckbourn's similar technique in House and Garden.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


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