Overview

York Realist


Show Summary Details

Quick Reference

A: Peter Gill Pf: 2001, Salford Pb: 2001 G: Drama in 4 scenes S: Living room of farm labourer's cottage outside York, early 1960s C: 4m, 3fGeorge, a farm labourer, lives with his elderly Mother in a tied cottage. He is visited by his friend John, who has come to the theatre in York for a week and drives out to see him. Curiously, John seems not to see Mother when she comes downstairs, and soon leaves. We then shift back in time. Mother goes out to chapel with Doreen, a woman who fancies George and got him a part in the mystery plays to be staged in York. John, the assistant director of the plays, calls to ask why George has been missing rehearsals. The two men are mutually attracted, and when they return from wandering over the farm, with John thrilled at the countryside sights and smells, George invites John to share his bed with him. A month later, George's family and Doreen return from seeing the mystery plays, excited by the experience, especially seeing George playing a convincingly sadistic crucifier. George asks John to stay on in Yorkshire, and John suggests that George come with him to London to embark on an acting career, but George will not leave his Mother. A few months later, Mother has died. Suddenly, we revert to the first scene: John pleads again with George to join him in London, but George refuses. John leaves, and Doreen comes to fuss over George.

A: Peter Gill Pf: 2001, Salford Pb: 2001 G: Drama in 4 scenes S: Living room of farm labourer's cottage outside York, early 1960s C: 4m, 3f

In a series of scenes, with convincingly naturalistic dialogue yet with surprising time-shifts and the surreal if brief appearance of Mother after death, Gill sensitively portrays the growth and decline of a homosexual relationship, which founders on the ‘Yorkshire realism’ of George – an irony since George and John met working on the York Cycle of Mystery Plays, ascribed to ‘the York realist’.

Subjects: Literary Studies (Plays and Playwrights).


Reference entries

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.